Shelby Subcommittee Reviews Navy, Marine Corps FY2020 Budget Request

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its subcommittee on defense, today conducted a subcommittee hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2020 funding request and budget justification for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.  The Honorable Richard V. Spencer, Secretary of the Navy; Admiral John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations; and General Robert B. Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps, testified before the subcommittee.


Chairman Shelby’s opening remarks, as prepared, are as follows:


“Good morning, the Subcommittee will come to order.  I am pleased to welcome Secretary Spencer, Admiral Richardson and General Neller for a review of the Navy and Marine Corps’ fiscal year 2020 budget request, and for an update on Naval operations.


“For fiscal year 2020, the Navy and Marine Corps are requesting $205.6 billion, an increase of about $9.5 billion over amounts appropriated for fiscal year 2019.  Last year, the Department of Defense received its full budget at the beginning of the fiscal year for the first time in 10 years.  In addition to reviewing your FY20 request, we would like to hear how the timely enactment of FY19 funds is increasing our military readiness and accelerating modernization.


“This year’s budget request is informed by the 2018 National Defense Strategy which describes a new era of great power competition with China and Russia.


“Coincidentally, last week two Carrier Strike Groups with over 10 ships, 130 aircraft and 9,000 sailors and Marines met up in the Mediterranean for joint operations.  It is only the second time in 20 years that two aircraft carriers have operated in the Mediterranean together.  Hopefully, you can share some more details about the significance of this event with us.  It certainly shows the role of aircraft carriers to Naval operations, and the Committee notes yesterday’s announcement that the Navy will not decommission the USS HARRY S TRUMAN 25 years early, as initially proposed.  We would welcome more details on your revised plans.


“Admiral Richardson, General Neller, I understand that this will likely be your last appearance before our Subcommittee in your current roles.  We thank you both for your service to our Nation and wish you ‘fair winds and following seas’ and ‘Semper Fidelis’ in your upcoming retirements.


“Now I turn to the Vice Chairman, Senator Durbin, for his opening remarks.  Thank you.”