Congressman Joe Courtney and the House of Representatives today passed the Fiscal Year 2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) by a vote of 318-109. The bill, which ensures continued two-per-year submarine production at Electric Boat, heads now to President Obama for his signature.
"The CR we passed today averts a March 27 government shutdown and, most importantly for eastern Connecticut, preserves the two a year submarine build rate in 2014 we have worked for the past 14 months to achieve," said Congressman Courtney. "Because of efforts that started at the House Armed Services Committee, we were able to procure authority and funding for a second 2014 submarine that was initially removed from the 2013 budget. EB and the Navy can now continue working on a five year, ten ship multiyear contract that will ensure stability and certainty in our region's economy. With this vote, we provided Electric Boat a concrete budget environment in which to operate and empowered them to continue their important work that has ripple effect across our region.
"I am pleased that the CR in its final form undoes some of sequestration's painful cuts, including restoring the tuition assistance program on which our servicemen and women rely. But in the coming months, all Americans will feel the impact of this wrongheaded policy. Yesterday, I voted for a Democratic budget that would have responsibly turned off the sequester with a balanced approach to debt reduction. I also have voted three times in favor of a plan to replace sequester's indiscriminate cuts with smarter reductions.
"To date, those efforts have been rejected by Republicans who refuse to compromise while calling sequestration "the first significant Tea Party victory.' Kicking kids out of Head Start, cutting Medicare payments to Doctors, and furloughing hard-working Americans who rely on every penny of their paycheck to pay their bills is not a victory. The CR is a positive step in easing some of sequestration's pain, but this Congress needs to act now before the impact of this policy spreads. There is still time to defuse it all and smartly undo a policy that was never intended to go into effect."
Congressman Courtney is vice ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee's Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.