Today Congressman Scott Rigell (VA-2) voted against the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government for six months because, among other reasons, it does not fund Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) work on two U.S. aircraft carriers, a major priority for the Navy and shipbuilding companies around Hampton Roads.
"At a time when our national security and military power are threatened by looming budget cuts, unrest in the Middle East, and a growing threat in the Pacific, I believe it is unwise to delay any shipbuilding operations," said Rigell, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee and is a member of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.
The CR does not include funding to finish RCOH work on the USS Theodore Roosevelt which could result in a stop work order in January of 2013, or shortly thereafter, delaying a major Navy priority and cost the Hampton Roads region important and needed jobs. In addition, the CR would delay RCOH on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
At a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on Tuesday, Sean J. Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, said a setback in the schedule of maintaining those carriers would create "havoc" to other programs at the shipyard that performs the work.
Rigell continued: "Beyond this concern for our Navy and shipbuilding operations, we must hold Washington accountable for passing a real budget and all of the appropriations bills for which it is responsible. Every American family operates on a budget; so too must our government. These short-term continuing resolutions are creating uncertainty in the private sector and hurting our country."