January 23, 2005

Davis, Taylor form Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus

Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis (R.-Va.) and Congressman Gene Taylor (D.-Miss.) have formed the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.

It is described as "an entity that will serve as a venue for Members of Congress to discuss shipbuilding issues that impact their districts as well as enable them to work together in a unified effort to support increased shipbuilding efforts for a strong Navy capable of protecting America's vital national interests for years to come."

"Navy shipbuilding is facing some of its deepest cuts in years and there are efforts underway to shrink our fleet of aircraft carriers down to nine in the coming years. This is detrimental to our national security as we protect America in the global war on terror," said Rep. Davis, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and cochairman of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.

The caucus, she said "will give members an opportunity to discuss shipbuilding issues that impact their district and enable them to work together in a unified effort to support increased shipbuilding efforts for the United States Navy." added Davis.

"The shrinking of our Fleet is not just about numbers, but about reduced capabilities that threaten our national security," said caucus co-chairman Congressman Gene Taylor. "It weakens our ability to fight the Global War on Terrorism and our industrial capabilities to build ships."

"This is a national problem," said Taylor. "If the decline is allowed to continue, we will soon find ourselves reliant on foreign sources for our warships."

The lawmakers noted that the current Navy fleet is half of what it was in the 1980's, and the current fleet of 289 ships is smaller than at any time since the attack on Pearl Harbor.

They noted that "whether it is in the production of the steel in Indiana or the building of valves in Arizona, there are hundreds of Congressional districts that have a vested interest in shipbuilding and its importance to our national security."

Other caucus members include: Representatives Gary Ackerman (D.-N.Y.), Todd Akin (R.-Mo.), Tom Allen (D.-Me.), Rodney Alexander (R.-La.), Eric Cantor (R.-Va.), Randy Forbes (R.-Va.), Robin Hayes (R.-N.C.), Maurice Hinchey (D.-N.Y.), David Hobson (R.-Ohio), Rick Larsen (D.-Wash.), Frank LoBiondo (R.-N.J.), James McGovern (D.-Mass.), Mike McIntyre (D.-N.C.), Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D.-Md.), Bobby Scott (D.-Va,), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D.-Ohio), and Roger Wicker (R.-Miss).

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