CAPITOL HILL – The House Armed Services Committee will not accept a Navy shipbuilding plan of anything lower than 13 ships and $26 billion in Fiscal Year 2019, a subcommittee chairman said, suggesting HASC may add several ships beyond what the Navy requested earlier this week.
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), who chairs the HASC seapower and projection forces subcommittee, said this morning that “the floor for shipbuilding in FY ‘19 needs to be no less than $26.2 billion and 13 ships. Period. Bottom line.” The House of Representatives agreed to those numbers for the current FY 2018 spending plan, which has still not been approved by the Senate and passed into law, but Wittman argued those figures must be approved this year and continued into 2019.
“This year’s appropriations bill reflects $26.2 billion ad 13 ships’ construction. In the president’s budget (for 2019), about $21 billion and 10 ships. Folks, the bottom line is this: we know what we need as far as numbers of ships; we know to get there in the most cost-effective manner, serial production is key; we know also we’ve got to get off the rollercoaster ride of building some ships and then coming back down and then building some more ships. You cannot maintain an industrial base, you cannot plan for future operations without the certainty that comes with that,” Wittman said at an annual Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition congressional event.
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Source: Megan Eckstein | USNI News