Thursday, August 21, 2014
Update on Congressional Activity Related to Submarines
As the FY15 defense bills move through Congress, we want to provide SIBC members with the status of submarine program funding and its potential impact on the submarine industrial base.
Update on FY15 Defense Bills and Submarine Program Funding
The defense authorization and appropriations committees in both the House and the Senate have largely supported the funding levels submitted by the President – and recommended by the SIBC – for the Virginia-class, Ohio Replacement and Virginia Payload Module (VPM) programs.
To date, only the U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of both bills. The Senate bills have passed their respective committees but await votes by the full Senate. Once passed by the Senate, both bills will have to be reconciled in conference committees before going to the President for his signature.
Continuing Resolution Likely
With Congress expected to be in session for only a couple weeks in September before recessing for the November elections, it is likely that a Continuing Resolution will be used to fund the Department of Defense, at least for a few months, beginning October 1st.
The uncertainty and possible reduced funding levels associated with one or more Continuing Resolutions can add significant risk to production plans. As you continue to engage with your Senators and Representatives, we encourage you to seek their support for these vital submarine programs and to finalize both the FY15 Defense Authorization and Appropriations bills as soon as possible.
Congressional Recess: Opportunities for Site Visits
Hosting your representatives for site or plant visits is helpful in demonstrating the direct connection between support for submarine programs and local jobs. While Congress remains in their districts during the current recess and again when they return home for the election recess, we encourage you to invite your representative to tour your facilities and meet with company executives and workers.
The three issue papers provided at Supplier Days and posted on the SIBC website continue to outline the three key submarine funding priorities for FY15. We encourage you to use these papers in preparing for and conducting outreach to your congressional representatives.