Sea Service Appropriations Updates
The President’s requested budget for USCG Acquisitions in FY2014 was a total of $716 million, split across the National Security Cutter (NSC), Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and Fast Response Cutter (FRC) programs. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees increased that by more than $100 million, with the House Appropriations Committee settling on $833.6 million and the Senate Appropriations Committee on $967 million.
The funding request for the NSC was $616 million, which the House decreased by $ 12.4 million, while the senate increased it by an additional 16 million, with totals of $603.6 million and $632 million dollars. Whatever compromise is reached between the two houses, the NSC is and will most likely remain the best funded of the Cutter programs.
The OPC program was the only section of the funding request to remain unchanged, and both the House and the Senate agreed with the request for $25 million. The FRC, on the other hand, had the most significant change in funding from the proposed $75 million. The HAC approved $205 million for the FRC, roughly 2.75 times the initial amount, while the SAC quadrupled it to $310 million.
Negotiators in the House and Senate have created a hybrid bill from the NDAA versions that passed the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee in an attempt to ensure that the bill is passed before the end of the 2013 calendar.
The overall Shipbuilding and Conversion account funding line was increased to $14.7 billion, an increase of $656.2 million from the President’s budget. The Virginia-class submarine got a significant boost of $492 million from the baseline request to $3.4 billion. The Afloat Forward Staging Bases funding increased by $52 million and the Zumwalt-class was given an additional $100 million to finish out that program.
Aircraft procurement took a hit with a decrease by $52.2 million to $17.9 billion. Most of the reduction comes from decreases to the EA-18G program.
The bill includes $15.7 billion for Navy RDTE, a $312 million cut, and a $457.4 million increase to the Navy Operations and Maintenance account to $40.4 billion. The Marine Corps received $6.4 billion- a $131 million increase.
The joint bill also includes provisions to shape programs and mandate various reports. It raises cost caps for CVN-78 and CVN-79 and requires a report on the survivability of the Littoral Combat Ship. The bill also authorizes national defense sea lift requirements for MARAD including the Ready Reserve Force.
Food for Peace Program Overhaul
The White House recently proposed drastic changes to the structure the Food for Peace Program (Public Law 480). This overhaul of the United States’ $1.4 billion food aid program has been rejected by Congress in its fiscal 2014 budget negotiations. The purpose of the Food for Peace Program is to promote the food security of developing countries by providing American grown food, delivered on American-crewed and flagged ships, preserving thousands of American jobs. The Food for Peace program has been able to save lives, help people recover from crises and to support nutrition and development in impoverished countries. The changes proposed by the Administration would have undermined the U.S.-flag Merchant Marine and our national defense sealift capability.
This overhaul would have devastated the independent U.S.-flag Merchant Marine, and both the economy and our military would have been left vulnerable. Our national security relies upon U.S.–flag commercial fleet. The U.S. –flag Merchant Marine and our national defense sealift capability are a valuable component of our economic and defense capability.
As of June 2013 the U.S. Agency for International Development is negotiating for a smaller package of changes which will pave way for incremental updates to the system of food aid delivery. The House and Senate farm bills (HR 1947, S 954) stipulate that the food assistance program will remain under the Agriculture committees despite effort to move jurisdiction to appropriators that oversee the State Department and foreign aid. The Navy League is closely watching HR 1983, which would codify into law the changes proposed by the Administration. Tell your Congressman you oppose HR 1983 and any changes to PL 480, the Food for Peace program.
House Military and Industrial Facilities Caucus - NCMS and CTMAA
The House Military Depot and Industrial Facilities Caucus met May 2013, and addressed the PB14 infrastructure investment plan, which focuses on eliminating backlog, centralizing production, and improving utility system reliability. Technological Investments were focused on the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) Program. This program will leverage commercial funding to increase return on investments for maintenance depots through Commercial Technology for Maintenance Activity (CTMAA) projects. The CTMA program is a DoD-supported initiative that ensures American troops and their equipment are ready to face any situation, with the most up-to-date and best-maintained platforms and tools on earth. Under CTMA, NCMS forms collaborative partnerships between the DoD and private industry to enhance the readiness of our warfighters by providing new and innovative sustainment solutions and research on existing or legacy weapons platforms. This concept will also include the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Depot Maintenance Plan which will perform maintenance on F-35A and F-35C aircrafts for the USAF Ogden Air Logistics Center as well as the F-35B AIRCRAFT AT THE Fleet Readiness Center East Cherry Point.
For information on sequestration, visit the Sequestration Action Center
The House unanimously passed the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act on July 9th, which would allow veterans to substitute their military experience for certain training and certification requirements when applying for federal licenses. The Navy League sent a letter of support for this bill to House leadership.
Problems with the Transportation Reform Bill
Recent Hearing Summaries
March 14th - Subcommittee on Readiness: “Is Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Appropriate at this Time?”
March 13th - Subcommittee on Military Personnel: “Impact of the Continuing Resolution, Sequestration, and Declining Operations and Maintenance Budgets on Military Personnel and Family Related Programs”
February 26th - House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Hearing on the Quadrennial Defense Review: Policy, Process, and Perspectives
February 26th - Subcommittee on Seapower & Projection Forces
February 26th - House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation: Hearing on Coast Guard Mission Balance
February 27th - Subcommittee on Military Personnel: "Impact to Military End Strength in a Budget Constrained Environment"
July 18th - House Armed Services Committee:
Sequestration Implementation Options and the Effects on National Defense: Industry Perspectives
July 16th - Program for Public Consultation Panel Discussion: “What Kind of Defense Budget would the American Public Make? Are the Answers Different in Red and Blue Districts?”
July 12th is Senate Homeland Security Committee: The Future of Homeland Security, The Evolution of the Homeland Security Department's Roles and Missions
July 11th is Senate Homeland Security Committee: The Future of Homeland Security, Emerging Threats
House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense March 1st Hearing on Navy & Marine Corps Budget Request
House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces March 29th Hearing on Oversight of Naval Vessel Acquisition Programs and Force Structure of the Department of the Navy
Senate Armed Services Committee, February 14th Department of Defense Budget Hearing
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee March 7th Hearing on FY 2013 budget request for the U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA
House Appropriations Committee, Homeland Security Subcommittee, March 6th Hearing on the FY 2013 Coast Guard Budget Request
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee March 7th Hearing on FY 2013 Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation budget request
Senate Armed Services Committee March 15th Hearing on the Department of the Navy FY2013 Budget Request
Links to News Services Covering Capitol Hill
- www.seapowermagazine.org - SEAPOWER magazine and its Almanac issue are official publications of the Navy League of the United States, an international organization founded in 1902 to support the U.S. sea services.
- www.thehill.com - The Hill is a congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session, with a special focus on business and lobbying, political campaigns and goings on on Capitol Hill.
- www.politico.com - Politico covers political news with a focus on national politics, Congress, Capitol Hill, the 2012 presidential race, lobbying, advocacy, and more. Politico's in-depth coverage includes video features, regular blogs, photo galleries, cartoons, and political forums.
- www.rollcall.com - Roll Call Newspaper Online - Covering Capitol Hill Since 1955