Courtney Statement On Release Of Seapower And Projection Forces Subcommittee Mark
April 22, 2015
WASHINGTON – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2), Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, made the following statement on the panel’s mark of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, released publicly today:
“This is my first mark-up as Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and I am proud that this measure reflects the bipartisan and in-depth work that our panel has done over the last several months,” said Courtney. “The jurisdiction of the subcommittee covers a wide range of programs and priorities that are absolutely critical to our nation’s defense today and well into the future, and the proposal that we will consider tomorrow makes many positive contributions to the needs of our Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Maritime Administration.
“I am particularly proud to have worked with Chairman Forbes on a number of provisions related to the future of our undersea fleet—an area we have worked closely together on for several years. In addition to fully supporting the ongoing two-a-year construction rate for our Virginia Class Submarines, the mark notes our bipartisan concern about the current plan to outfit only two-thirds of the Block V submarines with the Virginia Payload Module. As Navy officials have routinely testified before committee members, the VPM is the only solution available to retain the undersea strike capabilities lost when the SSGNs retire in the next decade.
“This mark also continues needed investment in the Ohio Replacement Program. Last year, we took the lead on creating the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund to provide the space for this top-priority program for the Defense Department and the Navy to be funded outside the regular shipbuilding account. The proposal before the subcommittee tomorrow continues to move this important effort forward, both by directing the $1.4 billion requested for ORP in the budget into the fund, and by expanding the range of authorities available for developing and building the submarine. Building the Ohio Replacement poses a significant challenge, but our nation has faced the challenge of building and replacing our SSBN fleet in the past and found the will to get it done – and I believe that with the authorities and support this mark provides, we move closer to the goal of replacing the SSBN fleet while preserving other vital shipbuilding priorities.”
The Subcommittee will meet at 10:30 AM on Thursday, April 23rd, in Rayburn 2118. The markup will be webcast on the committee’s YouTube page.
The Seapower & Projection Forces Subcommittee mark is available here: Subcommittee Mark.