The White House is seeking to add another Virginia-class attack submarine to this fiscal year’s budget by asking Congress to approve the additional Navy vessel, according to a report by Bloomberg Wednesday.
The administration is seeking to adjust the Pentagon’s 2021 budget through Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russell Vought.
The addition of the Virginia-class submarine would mean Congress would be approving two of these vessels for the U.S. Navy, in an attempt to build up to a 500 manned and unmanned fleet by 2045.
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The request for an additional submarine aligns with traditional congressional budgeting for the Navy, which reportedly approves funding for two submarines a year. Though the Trump administration reportedly pushed away from this conventional budgeting strategy in an effort to more highly prioritize bolstering the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration instead.
The OMB sent a letter obtained by Bloomberg, to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees saying that the changes to the budget were necessary in order to “address an urgent development of critical importance to the nation.”
FeedLine.net could not reach the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, R – Ala., to address what the “urgent development” was.
The House committee has already approved budgeting a second naval submarine, while the Senate committee released a proposal including $472 for the materials to build the subs, reported Bloomberg.
The administration’s request comes as the Appropriations Committees are working to pass massive spending packages that would fund all government operations, including Pentagon spending.
As President Trump has made headlines with his push to withdraw troops from the Middle East, in what he calls “forever wars,” reports surfaced last month on his administration’s efforts at building and expanding the U. S. Navy to a 500-vessel security force by 2045.
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The push is an alleged attempt to counter Chinese development by expanding the sector of the armed services and providing jobs to boost the economy. But some experts have warned such a plan during a pandemic, when resources are being diverted to assist public aid, would likely mean resources are drained from other sectors.
"We’re not building enough ships to deal with the Chinese threat," National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said in an interview with Defense News last month. "At the same time, we’re spending $3 billion a month in Afghanistan or somewhere near that. It’s $3 billion a month when we could be building three frigates a month — that’s 36 frigates in the year.”
“We’re putting resources into Afghanistan that would otherwise be devoted to great power competition and protecting American people,” he added.
The Trump administration reportedly believes that the expansion of the current 300-vessel Navy would increase U.S. power as China builds up their naval abilities, including as a deterrent factor.
Prior to his sacking, Defense Secretary Mark Esper echoed these sentiments and argued that the U.S. should be developing three submarine ships a year.
“Achieving Battle Force 2045 over the long run will not be easy. Parochial interests, budget uncertainties, industrial capacity, and other competing factors will contest our ambitions,” Esper said during an online event with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in October.
When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only want to make peace!"Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realize (it) not.When it is said to them: "Believe as the others believe:" They say: "Shall we believe as the fools believe?" Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know. (The Cow 11-13 )