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Second Virginia-Class Submarine is Fully Funded in Bipartisan Omnibus Spending Package

December 21, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Joe Courtney’s (CT-02) year-long effort to fully restore construction of a second Virginia-class submarine in 2021 has officially been included in the final negotiated omnibus spending package released today. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Courtney has led the bipartisan effort to restore the second submarine since February, when the White House submitted a shipbuilding budget request to Congress that called for the removal of the second submarine and for the fewest number of combatant vessels in over a decade. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the measure today.  
“The Trump Administration’s shipbuilding budget request would have robbed an entire submarine from the Navy’s toolbox, and undermined the workforce not just at Electric Boat but in countless manufacturing shops across our country,” said Chairman Courtney. “Since February, we worked non-stop to restore the two-per-year submarine program of record in the final 2021 NDAA, and last week we sent that bill to the President’s desk for signature with veto-proof majorities. Today is another big step forward in the final push to ensure that we’re building two Virginia with its inclusion in the omnibus spending package.” 
“As soon as I was entrusted with the gavel of the Seapower Subcommittee at the outset of the 116th Congress, I made it a priority to work in-tandem and across the aisle with our colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to deliver for our U.S. Navy and for eastern Connecticut. I want to thank Congressmen Pete Visclosky and Ken Calvert, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, for recognizing the national security value that has been placed by Navy leaders in this submarine, and for working to back our full restoration in the final omnibus spending package. Now it’s time to move forward and get the bill done. 
“The restoration of this submarine is a victory for the thousands of men and women who work hard every single day building the most capable submarines in the world. Thanks to this decisive bipartisan result, this submarine will serve our nation’s defense for decades to come—a lasting impact that all of us who worked so hard to get this done can be proud of.”  
On December 8th, the House and Senate both voted to pass the final 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by overwhelming bipartisan majorities—335-78 in the House, and 84-13 in the Senate. Included in the 2021 NDAA was Rep. Courtney and the Seapower Subcommittee’s provision to reverse the Trump Administration’s budget proposal, and fully restore construction of two Virginia-class submarines in 2021. That provision is backed by full funding in the omnibus spending bill released today. 
Navy leadership has listed the restoration of a fully funded second FY21 Virginia-class submarine as its top unfunded budget priority this fiscal year. During hearings this year in the Seapower subcommittee, Navy officials confirmed to Courtney that there is industrial base capacity to support the second submarine, that doing so reduces risk in the ramp up on Columbia construction, and that not restoring the submarine in 2021 will make it challenging to replace that submarine in a future year. 

Courtney’s effort to restore the second submarine has also drawn support from sea service advocacy groups and labor unions including the Navy League, the Submarine Industrial Base Coalition, the International Association of Machinists and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IAMAW), and more.