This week, on March 17 and 18, the House and Senate Budget Committees revealed their respective budgets that will inform the appropriations and authorization processes for Fiscal Year 2016. Both the House and Senate propose to fund the base defense budget for FY16 at $523 billion, the Budget Control Act (BCA) level. This amount is $38 billion less than the budget amount that was requested for defense.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and the top commanders from the four military branches have all testified before Congress that funding defense at the BCA caps would devastate the military. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert testified the budget request represents the “absolute minimum funding levels” to support the Navy’s plans for readiness and forward presence. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus testified the threat of reducing shipbuilding would be the most debilitating cut the service could suffer: “Cutting ships is the most damaging and least reversible course of action.”
The U.S. shipyard industry is vital to America's economic and national security. In the U.S., private shipyards support over 400,000 jobs; shipyards build, repair, maintain and modernize the most sophisticated Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard vessels in the world. And the shipbuilding industry provides business to a network of parts and equipment suppliers across all 50 states.
A strong viable Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Ready Reserve Fleet are a defense priority and a strong industrial base is a vital national asset. The key to our naval security - and to the economic health of the thousands of companies associated with ship construction and repair - is a stable and affordable shipbuilding plan that promotes a healthy industrial base.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
A defense budget lower than what our military leaders have requested as an absolute minimum puts our vital national security missions at risk, degrades our military and destroys jobs. A reduced defense budget will negatively affect:
- Freedom of the Seas
- Economic Prosperity
- Humanitarian Assistance
- Technological Investments
- U.S. Jobs
"We're working our ships hard. Their deployment ratios, their dwell time, the length of their deployments has been a lot of wear and tear to the force and you're starting to see that stack up in the depots. So the ship count is critical because the demand for presence is not going to go down. … So let us know how we can help you in your battles here in the halls of Congress to try to reverse what poses a great threat to our Navy and Marine Corps team."
- Sean stackley, assistant secretary of the navy for acquisition (HASC Hearing testimony, February 25, 2015)
jobs at risk
In the U.S., private shipyards support over 400,000 jobs in all 50 states. Click HERE to see how the shipyard industry benefits your district and state.