Jun 24 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its subcommittee on defense, today questioned top U.S. Navy and Marine Corps officials during a defense subcommittee hearing on the President’s fiscal year 2022 (FY22) budget request. The witnesses who testified before the subcommittee were Acting Navy Secretary Thomas W. Harker, Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, and General David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Senator Shelby’s remarks, as prepared, are as follows:
“Thank you Mr. Chairman. Secretary Harker, Admiral Gilday, and General Berger, welcome and thank you for being here. I look forward to hearing about the Navy and Marine Corps budget proposal for fiscal year 2022.
“This discussion is particularly important because the Navy’s budget proposal reflects a meager 1.8 percent increase from fiscal year 2021, while reducing end strength and procurement investments.
“The reductions are proposed despite the need to maintain readiness and make progress on key modernization priorities like the Navy’s leg of the nuclear triad and the introduction of new weapon systems.
“In addition to other deficiencies in the Navy’s budget proposal, this budget fails to include funding to support the multi-year procurement contract for the DDG-51, which reflects poorly on the Department’s view of its commitments to congress and its long-term shipbuilding plans.
“It also calls into question the seriousness with which this Administration approaches defense-related funding decisions given that the DDG-51 appears as the Navy’s top priority on its unfunded requirements list.
“You all are very well aware that our adversaries, including China and Russia, pose new and increasing threats. They are making unprecedented investments in their capability and capacity – investments that this budget does not even come close to matching.
“I believe that this budget, which fails to even keep pace with inflation, sends the wrong message to our allies and our adversaries.
“I am interested in hearing how the fiscal year 2022 budget request fully meets the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps while maintaining our advantage over our adversaries. Thank you.”