DearColleague.us

Letter

Joe Courtney

From the office of:

Joe Courtney

Sending Office: Honorable Joe Courtney
Sent By:
Cameron.Massey@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Support the Navy’s Submarine Programs in FY2021

* Restoring Second 2021 submarine is Navy’s top unfunded priority * 

Deadline
for sign-on is COB TODAY

 

Cosigners (106): Courtney, Wittman, Langevin, Baird, Banks, Beyer Jr., Blunt
Rochester, Boyle, Brindisi, Brown, Brownley, Buschon, M.D., Byrne, Carbajal, Cardenas, Carson, Carter, Chabot, Cicilline, Cisneros, Jr., Cline, Connolly, Cook, Cunningham, Susan Davis, Dean, DeLauro, DelBene, Deutch, Doyle, Fitzpatrick, Flores, Foster, Gallagher,
Gallego, Golden, Gomez, Gonzalez, Griffith, Hartzler, Hastings, Hayes, Heck, Hice, Himes, Horsford, Houlahan, Johnson, Joyce, M.D., Katko, Keating, Kelly, Kim, Peter King, Kinzinger, Krishnamoorthi, Kuster, Larson, Susie Lee, Lamb, Lowenthal, Luetkemeyer,
Luria, Lynch, Malinowksi, McBath, McEachin, McGovern, Meuser, Miller, Mitchell, Neal, Norcross, O’Halleran, Panetta, Pappas, Pascrell, Jr., Perlmutter, Peters, Phillips, Pingree, Posey, Reschenthaler, Riggleman III, Roe, M.D., Rooney, Rouda, Mary Gay Scanlon,
“Bobby” Scott, Sires, Spanberger, Stefanik, Stivers, Suozzi, Bennie Thompson, ‘GT’ Thompson, Tonko, Trone, Michael R. Turner, Vela, Waters, Wenstrup, D.P.M., Wexton, Wild, Wilson, Wright.

 

Dear
Colleague,
 

 

As
co-chairs of the Congressional Submarine Caucus, we ask you to join us in urging strong support for our nation’s critical submarine programs in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Defense appropriations bill. 
 

 

Submarines
and our undersea capabilities remain one of nation’s most distinct national security advantages. However, in the coming decade the attack submarine force will see a decline from 52 submarines today to 42 in 2024 – a nearly 20% reduction. This decrease will
occur while other nations like China and Russia are expanding their undersea capabilities, and our combatant commanders have sounded the alarm that their submarine mission needs are only half-met. 
 

 

To
address this challenge and provide stability for the industrial base, Congress has consistently supported the two-a-year build rate for the Virginia-class submarines. However, the President’s budget request deviates from that plan and funds only one new attack
submarine in 2021. This is despite the fact that Congress has already allocated over $1.1 billion for a second 2021 submarine, and specifically provided direction and $200 million last year to support a second submarine in FY 2021.
To
this end, our letter requests support for sustaining the two-a-year build rate and fully funding a second submarine in FY 2021.
 

 

The
President’s budget also fully funds the first year of major construction for the Columbia class submarine, the replacement for our aging fleet of Ohio-class SSBNs. This program remains central to our nation’s strategic deterrent capabilities and is the Department
of Defense’s top national security acquisition priorities.
Our
letter requests full support for the President’s budget request for the Columbia class submarine program in FY 2021.
 

 

To
join this letter, please follow
this
link

to
fill in the signature form. Please contact Sam Menchel on Rep. Courtney’s staff at

Sam.Menchel@mail.house.gov
if
you have any questions or encounter any issues. Thank you for your consideration of this important request.
 Deadline
for sign-on is COB Friday, March 13.

 

 

Sincerely,  

 

JOE
COURTNEY, 

Member
of Congress

 

JIM
LANGEVIN

Member
of Congress

 

ROB
WITTMAN

Member
of Congress

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
                                                     March XX, 2020
 

 

The
Honorable Peter Visclosky             
 
Chairman 

Subcommittee
on Defense
 
Committee
on Appropriations     
 
H-405,
The Capitol
 
Washington,
D.C. 20515
 

 

The
Honorable Ken Calvert
 
Ranking
Member
 
Subcommittee
on Defense
 
Committee
on Appropriations
 
1016
Longworth House Office Building
 
Washington,
D.C. 20515
 

 


Dear
Chairman Visclosky and Ranking Member Calvert:
 

 

As
you develop the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Defense appropriations bill, we request your strong bipartisan support for the Virginia-class attack submarine and the Columbia-class sea-based deterrence submarine. 
 

 

Virginia-class
Submarine
 

We
are deeply concerned with the proposal to procure just one Virginia-class submarine in the President’s proposed FY 2021 budget. In recent years, Congress has heard consistent and alarming testimony about the growing capabilities and increased undersea activity
of competitors like Russia and China. For example, just last month Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, commander of U.S. Second Fleet, noted that he is seeing an
“ever-increasing
number of Russian submarines”

deploying to the Atlantic. Admiral Phillip Davidson, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, told Congress last March that
“My
day-to-day [submarine] requirement is met by slightly over 50 percent of what I’ve asked for.” 
 

 

Despite
these challenges, attack submarine capabilities remain one of our most distinct national security advantages. We agree with Defense Secretary Mark Esper when he said that
“[w]e
have to maintain that overmatch, and that means we have to continue to grow the fleet and build capabilities into each version.”
 

 

Unfortunately,
our attack submarine fleet is on track to decline to just 42 boats in 2027 – a nearly 20 percent reduction from current levels. In fact under current plans, the attack submarine force will face the deepest and most prolonged shortfall below requirements of
any ship type over the next thirty years. As Admiral John Richardson, then-Chief of Naval Operations, told Congress last year,

“with respect to our greatest gap between the war fighting requirement and current inventory, there’s no greater need than the attack submarine fleet…it’s a wide gap and it’s getting wider. So, every single submarine counts against closing that gap.”
 

 

This
is why Congress has strongly supported and defended the consistent two-a-year build rate of Virginia-class attack submarines. Congress has already allocated more than $1.1 billion to support a second FY 2021 submarine, including $200 million specifically authorized
and appropriated last year on a bipartisan basis to support sustainment of the two-a-year build rate in FY 2021. Further, an estimated 300 contracts have already been awarded to suppliers in the nation-wide industrial base in support of the submarine that
was removed from the President’s FY 2021 budget.
 

 

The
proposal to request one attack submarine is contrary to the National Defense Strategy, the needs of our combatant commanders, and a decade of Congressional action in support of a steady two-a-year build rate to support our national security and ensure stability
in the industrial base. Of note, the Navy recently ranked the restoration of the second 2021 Virginia-class submarine as its top unfunded requirement.

To
that end, we respectfully request your strong support for two Virginia-class submarines in FY 2021.
 

 

Columbia-class
Submarine
 

The
replacement for the Ohio-class submarine program, which has faithfully deterred our adversaries for over 40 years, represents a critical leg of our nation’s nuclear triad and will carry nearly 70 percent of the nation’s deployed nuclear arsenal. This program
is the Navy’s number one acquisition priority and must maintain its aggressive schedule to continue to meet the nation’s strategic deterrence goals. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review reaffirmed the central role that our sea-based deterrent will play in the coming
decades.
 

 

The
President’s FY 2021 budget requests funding to begin construction of the first boat of our Navy’s Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program. This milestone represents the beginning of a once-in-a-generation commitment to recapitalizing our sea-based
strategic deterrent. Congress has provided strong support for the Columbia-class program in recent years, including innovative new authorities to ensure the efficient use of taxpayer dollars and stability in the industrial base. As a result, at the start of
construction the Columbia-class program will have reached over 80 percent design completion, compared to just two percent at the same stage of the Ohio-class program. 
 

 

Strong
Congressional support for the program at this milestone is critical to ensuring that the Navy, the shipbuilders, and the industrial base have the support they need to ensure success in this central part of our nation’s strategic deterrence. 

To
this end, we urge your full support for the President’s budget request for the Columbia-class program. 
 

 

Sincerely, 

  

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Armed Services

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