Rep. Elaine Luria reaction to President Biden’s proposed Navy budget: “In the face of current threats, we are gutting the Navy now to say we’re going to rebuild it in 10 or 20 years,” she said Wednesday.
Biden is calling for decommissioning 24 ships, a move the Navy says will save $3.6 billion. On the chopping block are nine Freedom-class littoral combat ships, five cruisers, four landing ship docks, two Los Angeles-class submarines, and four support vessels.
Most of those ships are still very capable.
“The Navy owes the American public an apology,” Luria said. “For two decades, they’ve been building failed classes of ships … they like the highest tech, biggest and newest thing.”
Luria noted that this will put the fleet even farther from the goal of a 355-ship Navy.
Luria noted that the proposal to build two Virginia-class submarines and two new destroyers falls short. She said the Navy needs to be building three of both a year.
That’s the call to postpone funding the new Light Amphibious Warship from 2023 to 2025, followed by a pause for several years before the next in the class comes on. That kind of stop and go work is a major problem, both for new ship construction and ship repaid, she has repeatedly said.
Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland, ranking member of the House seapower subcommittee, has said the budget proposal doesn’t reflect the needs for ships, aircraft, vehicles and equipment that the military really needs.
“I am particularly disappointed that even as we aim to grow our naval and projection forces, this budget continues the divest to invest strategy that will shrink our fleet once again,” he said.