President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2016 defense budget proposal of $585.3 billion in discre- tionary budget authority includes nine new-construction ships for the Navy and 124 aircraft for the
Navy and Marine Corps. The new ship total is one
more than enacted in the 2015 budget, while the aircraft total is 11 fewer.
Although there is little controversy in the budget’s
Navy provisions, the Department of the Navy’s share of
the budget is $13 billion more than currently allowed
under the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, a situation that will require some painful cuts unless Congress
provides relief from sequestration for 2016.
The base Department of Defense (DoD) request
presented to Congress on Feb. 2 has been set at
$534.3 billion, $38.2 billion more than the $496.1 billion enacted for 2015. The Overseas Contingency
Operations (OCO) supplemental also was submitted
at $50.9 billion, $13.3 billion less than for 2015.
Together, the DoD submission is $35 billion greater
than the caps set into law by the BCA, potentially setting up a showdown between Congress and the president over raising caps, raising revenue, cutting programming or accepting the across-the-board cuts
The DoD proposes a Navy and
Marine Corps base budget of $161
billion for 2016, compared with
$149.7 billion in 2015. An OCO
supplement of $7 billion is requested — with $5.7 billion for the Navy
and $1.3 for the Marine Corps —
compared with $9.6 billion enacted
During a Feb. 26 House Appro-
priations defense subcommittee
Frelinghuysen noted that the Navy Department’s
portion of that excess — $13 billion — would mean
that the department would have to “bear a sizeable part
of any reduction.”
“I’m going to do everything I can to protect ship-
building,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in response
to questioning from Frelinghuysen, pointing out that
the ships were the most difficult aspect of naval power
to reconstitute after budget cuts and, therefore, needed
to be sustained.
Frelinghuysen said that with the BCA’s sequestration still the law in 2016, “we will cut the $13 billion
with you or without you. … The BCA’s still the law,
so we’re going to mark that bill” in accordance with
“What else is going to give” if the Navy maintains its
shipbuilding budget? “Something’s got to give to get
under the $13 billion figure,” he said
However, Frelinghuysen said the committee will
work with the Department of the Navy to mitigate the
effects of any cuts, but requested the Navy provide the
committee a list of programs that would be cut or
reduced if the budget caps remain in effect.
Something’s Got to Give’
Navy Department’s 2016 funding request exceeds budget cap by $13 billion
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
The 2016 budget proposal for the Department of the Navy contains little controversy, but all programs are at risk because of
caps mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
; House appropriators have to mark the budget in accordance
with those caps.
; The budget requests nine new ships and 124 aircraft.
; Ship plans are on course to reach 306 battle force ships in the