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Rep. Courtney Reappointed as Chairman of the House Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee

February 3, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) was again selected to lead the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces as Chairman in the 117th Congress.  Courtney was named Chairman this afternoon at the Democratic organizing caucus for the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Courtney has been a member on the panel since he was a freshman in Congress in 2007, and completed his first term as its Chairman in the 116th Congress.

“I am honored to once again be named Chairman of one of the most productive and bipartisan panels in Congress, and I thank Chairman Smith and my colleagues for entrusting me with the responsibility,” said Chairman Courtney. “I’m proud of the bipartisan work this panel did over the last two years, which has made a tremendous impact in our capabilities on, over and under the seas. Whether it was leading the way on restoring a submarine cut from the budget, providing new tools and investment to modernize our sealift capacity or performing oversight on critical programs like the aerial refueling tanker, our subcommittee was front and center in some of the most critical national security issues we face. Working alongside Ranking Member Rob Wittman, I expect that we won’t skip a beat in continuing our work this year.”

“With a new administration ramping up and critical decisions ahead on the future of our national security, I am excited to work with President Biden’s team and new leaders in the Navy, Air Force and Maritime Administrations,” Courtney added. “It is more important than ever to have a stable and forward leaning plan to grow our Navy, preserve our maritime capabilities and support the airlift program that serve as the backbone to our ability project power across the globe. Our track record shows that this subcommittee does its homework, works together and gets things done - and I don’t expect that to change one bit.”

The Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee is tasked with providing and maintaining a strong U.S. Navy, and has direct oversight of Navy shipbuilding. The Subcommittee is the direct Congressional descendent of the Committee on Naval Affairs, which has been in operation since the earliest days of the U.S. Congress. The Seapower Subcommittee also has jurisdiction over the Navy’s long-range bomber, airlift, and tanker aircraft programs; seaborne unmanned systems; the national security aspects of our domestic maritime programs, and more.
 

  • Defending Congress’ Article One role in maintaining a Navy by ensuring accountability for
    the lack of transparency and cooperation with Congress on the submission of annual shipbuilding plans; 
  • Boosting undersea capabilities through restoration of the second 2021 Virginia class
    submarine removed from the Trump administration's budget; 
  • Providing critical authorities and support to ensure successful start to the Columbia class
    submarine, the nation’s top acquisition priority; 
  • Focusing on the urgent need to recapitalize our sealift capabilities, including expanding
    authorities to more cost-effectively build a new sealift ship, supporting stable funding for the NSMV, and establishing the Tanker Security Program to fill critical gaps in at-sea logistics; 
  • Investing in the modernization of our C-130 cargo aircraft fleet through critical life-extension upgrades and vigorously pursued oversight of challenges in our aerial refueling programs.


​For Connecticut, specific priorities under the panel’s oversight include Navy shipbuilding programs such as the Virginia and Columbia-class submarines, the B-21 Raider bomber and KC-46A Tanker powered by Pratt and Whitney engines, cargo airlift programs like the C-130H aircraft flown by the “Flying Yankees” of the Connecticut Air National Guard’s 103rd Airlift Wing out of Bradley airport, and other programs that are supported by hundreds of manufacturers and suppliers across the state.

According to a review by House Historians Office, Courtney is the first known member from Connecticut to lead a naval oversight panel in the House of Representatives since 1873, when Stephen W. Kellogg of Waterbury served as Chair of the Committee on Expenditures in the Navy Department in the 42nd Congress (1871-1873). Prior to that, Samuel Ingham, a two-term Congressman with connections to Hebron, Jewett City (Griswold) and Essex, served as chair of the Committee on Navy Affairs in the 25th Congress (1837-1839). 

 

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