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Navy to Congress: No budget, no second submarine in 2014

By Jennifer McDermott

Publication: theday.com

Published 02/19/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 02/20/2013 05:42 PM
Service releases plan in face of looming, automatic budget cuts

If Congress doesn't pass a budget this fiscal year, the Navy said it likely would not purchase a second Virginia-class submarine in 2014.

The Navy released its latest plan to Congress on Tuesday for how it will be affected if the government keeps operating on a continuing resolution that funds spending at last year's levels, and if Congress does not act before March 1 to prevent the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.

The continuing resolution expires March 27, and Congress could extend it for the rest of the fiscal year.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said the House Armed Services Committee created and passed a plan that authorized two submarines in 2014.

"Now it is incumbent on congressional appropriators to work with us to get the rest of the way there," he said. "The House's plate is full and time is running out to act. That is why last week I voted against Speaker Boehner's motion to adjourn, shutting down the House for 10 days that would be better used tackling these issues, supporting our critical defense priorities, and protecting our economy."

The Navy told Congress last month it would cancel a $45 million repair job on the USS Providence (SSN 719) at Electric Boat and two demolition projects involving three older buildings at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton unless Congress agreed on a new budget. And if sequestration occurs, the Navy said, it would delay repairs to the Groton-based USS Miami and cancel several ship deployments.

At that time, the Navy did not say the second submarine in 2014 was in jeopardy. A Navy spokeswoman said Tuesday's update provides a higher level of detail.

EB in Groton and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia jointly build two attack submarines per year. The plans for two submarines in 2013 are not expected to change.

j.mcdermott@theday.com

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