On February 19, 2013, Congressman Forbes (VA-04), and Congressman Rob Whitman (VA-01), submitted a letter to the House Appropriations Committee to protect certain military programs essential to national security. This is based on harmful impacts from the continuing resolution of fiscal year 2012 appropriations. Congressman Forbes is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and Congressman Whitman is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee.
Congressman Forbes says that any further defense cuts will impact thousands of jobs and seriously weaken the strength of our military for years to come. The list of essential programs include the following:
- Fully funding Navy modernization and maintenance programs to sustain existing fleet readiness levels
- Completing the refueling and overhaul of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)
- Providing for the refueling and overhaul of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
- Providing new authority to begin construction of USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
- Ensuring multi-year procurement and quantity increases for the Virginia class of nuclear attack submarines and the Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers
- Completing delivery of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6)
- Allowing for the continued operation of the Moored Training Ship
- Providing for a quantity increase in the procurement of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
Congressman Whitman says; “these programs are absolutely essential for our national security in the 21st century. Navy maintenance and and new ship construction rely on an industrial base that cannot be turned on and off like a spigot. They require a sustained investment that cannot be held hostage to partisan wrangling in Washington. While we must balance our budget and get our fiscal house in order, the result of an inability to adequately pursue these programs will be real and serious national security failures.”
Congress needs to pass a fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill. Instead they funded the government at the previous years level. The Department of Defense will be forced to reduce its maintenance and construction for the year.
A copy of the letter can be found on the link below: