Subcommittee Approves Byrne Amendment to Protect Austal Shipyard
The House Armed Services Committee Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee today approved an amendment from Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) that would block the Pentagon from eliminating the contract of one Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) supplier.
Currently, two different versions of the LCS are built by Austal USA in Alabama and Marinette Marine in Wisconsin. In addition to cutting the LCS program from 52 total ships to 40, President Barack Obama’s budget also proposed a “downselect” to a single LCS supplier.
Byrne’s amendment would prevent any funds from being used to “select only a single contractor for the construction of the Littoral Combat Ship or any successor frigate class ship program” until the Secretary of the Navy certifies a number of requirements to Congress.
Byrne’s amendment was adopted on a voice vote. Click here for a copy of Congressman Byrne’s amendment.
Byrne said: “Congress should not allow a Secretary of Defense with less than a year left in office to decide the fate of a critical Navy program like the LCS. My amendment will block the Pentagon from spending any money to move forward with a downselect to a single LCS supplier and will help eliminate unnecessary confusion and uncertainty in the industrial base. I appreciate Chairman Forbes and members of the Seapower Subcommittee for supporting my straightforward amendment.”
Today’s action comes after the Armed Services Committee yesterday released the legislative text for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included authorization for three Littoral Combat Ships. The NDAA text rejects efforts by the Obama Administration to only purchase two Littoral Combat Ships in Fiscal Year 2017.
The National Defense Authorization Act is a bill passed annual that sets the policy for all of our nation’s military and authorizes spending on defense programs and operations. Last year’s NDAA also funded three Littoral Combat Ships
Click here for more information on the NDAA and the Subcommittee on Seapower and Project Forces legislative text.