Kiggans Slams President Biden’s Defense Budget

Mar 18, 2024
Armed Forces
Press

Cites Negative Impacts on Hampton Roads, Lack of Critical Warfighting Capabilities

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans released the following statement regarding the President’s Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) defense budget:

“The President’s inadequate defense budget does not do our country justice. At a time when Russia, China, and Iran are increasing their aggression, the President has chosen to project weakness on the world stage instead of keeping peace through strength. Our men and women in uniform cannot keep our country safe nor help our allies maintain stability across the globe if they do not have the resources necessary to do so.

“While China increases the size of their navy, President Biden is decreasing ours. That is a slap in the face to those in our sea services who put their lives on the line every day to protect our great nation. Equally as important, a smaller Navy devastates the Hampton Roads industrial base that supports our fleet.

“If President Biden gets his way, we will have fewer ships in our Navy than we had in 2023, our Air Force will be decimated, and our Army will be forced to rely on outdated technology. This budget is negligent at best, ignores the reality of the chaos happening around the world, and poses an inevitable threat to our national security.

“On the House Armed Services Committee, I will work across the aisle to prevent this disastrous budget from becoming a reality. As a former Navy helicopter pilot, Navy wife, and Navy Mom, I will always fight to protect our service members, our warfighting capabilities, and our global deterrence initiatives. I will not stop until Virginia’s Second District has the tools it needs to maintain our nation’s strong defense force and provide for the quality of life our military families deserve.”

Congresswoman Kiggans is specifically concerned about the following provisions of the President’s defense budget and the impact they will have on the Hampton Roads community:

  • The shipbuilding budget for FY25 is $32.4 billion, a $400 million cut from the FY24 budget without factoring inflation.
  • The shipbuilding budget for FY25 only provides funding to construct six new battle force fleet ships, and only one of these is a Virginia class submarine (which fails to meet the required cadence to support the AUKUS security pact).
  • Traditionally, two Virginia class submarines are accounted for in the President’s budget each year.
  • This cut will significantly impact Hampton Roads and Newport News Shipbuilding – one of two sites that construct the Virginia class Submarines.
  • The FY25 defense budget shifts the aircraft carrier procurement from four-year centers to six-year centers.
  • This will significantly slow the procurement of Ford-class aircraft carriers at a time when our Navy is in dire need of increasing our fleet size to compete with China.
  • This will directly impact Hampton Roads and Newport News Shipbuilding – the sole builder of Ford-class aircraft carriers.
  • Because the FY25 defense budget only allocates construction for six new battle force fleet ships, the Navy fleet size will shrink from 296 to 287 in FY25, which is lower than the fleet size in both FY23 and FY24.
  • The FY25 defense budget only provides for $16.2 billion for Navy Aircraft Procurement, a 6.3% decrease from the $17.3 billion allocation in FY24.

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