WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the release of the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2021 Budget request:
“The Department of Defense budget request makes it clear that the current budget agreement is insufficient to ensure that our military can implement the National Defense Strategy and make the investments it needs to outpace our adversaries.”
“I am especially concerned that the budget proposal released today does not provide adequate funding to the Navy for shipbuilding, which is necessary to reach our statutory national policy of 355 ships and ensure that our fleet remains unrivaled at sea.”
“Specifically, this budget proposes to procure 44 new warships in fiscal years 2021 through 2025, which is 10 ships fewer than planned over the same timeframe in last year’s request.”
“Congress and the administration should come together to fund the defense department at a responsible level, which senior defense leaders have said is 3 to 5 percent above inflation annually. As the defense appropriations process progresses, I will take every opportunity to ensure our military service members across the Armed Forces receive the tools, equipment, training, and innovation they need to keep us safe.”
Last week Wicker introduced the Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas (SHIPS) Implementation Act, S.3258. The legislation would build upon Wicker’s 2017 SHIPS Act, which was signed into law by President Trump and which made it the policy of the United States to reach a 355-ship Navy. The proposal would authorize the use of multiple cost-saving measures that increase industrial base stability. It would also call on the Navy to start construction on not fewer than 39 new combatant and logistics ships over the next five fiscal years.