Washington - Last night, Congressman Courtney voted in favor of the 2014 defense appropriations bill, which passed by a vote of 315 - 109. The bill fully supports continued investment in programs critical to Connecticut's economy and industrial base. Among its provisions, which are detailed below, the bill supports continued two-a-year production of Virginia Class Submarines, ongoing development of the Ohio Replacement Program (ORP), prohibits furloughs of civilian defense workers in 2014 and other items important to the state.
"This bipartisan bill, passed by a large majority of the House, illustrates the integral role of our submarine force--and the talented men and women at Electric Boat--in America's national defense strategy. The details of this bill make certain that Connecticut will continue to be a pillar of the nation's defense industry and is a welcome show of support to our hard working industrial base at a challenging time," Courtney said.
"I am especially pleased that the House resoundingly rejected an amendment I fought against on the House floor that would have cut funding for the Ohio Replacement Program. While budget realities are challenging, undermining the cost-saving work already happening in this program would be wasteful and delay of a replacement would compromise our national security strategy in the future."
The amendment, offered by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), was defeated by a vote of 49-372. Congressman Courtney joined with his fellow co-chairs of the Congressional Submarine Caucus in urging bipartisan opposition to the proposal. In addition, several groups weighed in against the amendment, including the Navy League of the United States, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), the Submarine Industrial Base Council (SIBC) and the United Auto Workers (UAW).
"While on the whole this bill is good news for Connecticut, I remain deeply concerned about the continued inaction by this Congress in addressing the mounting impact of sequestration," Courtney said. "Recently, the Defense Department announced civilian furloughs that will cost more than 1,300 Connecticut workers 20 percent of their paychecks for 11 weeks. Until Congress can come together and pass a comprehensive budget, sequestration will continue to undermine the economic security of families in Connecticut and across the country. We were able to negotiate a strong defense appropriations bill, and I urge House leadership to build on this bipartisan accomplishment by appointing conferees to meet with members of the Senate, so they can negotiate a budget that ends sequestration."
Submarine Procurement and Development
* Virginia Class Submarine. $6.23 billion for the Virginia class submarine program, including two submarines in 2014 ($3.88 billion) and two in 2015 ($2.35 billion). This amount includes an additional $950 million over the budget request to fully fund the second submarine restored to the build plan by Congress earlier this year, and fully supports the upcoming ten boat, five year multiyear contract currently being negotiated by the Navy and Electric Boat.