May 10, 2007
HASC passes FY 2008 Defense Authorization Act
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) has announced that H.R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, has been reported favorably by the committee on a vote of 58 to 0.
H.R. 1585 authorizes $503.8 billion in budget authority for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DoE). The bill also authorizes $141.8 billion to support ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during fiscal year 2008.
And, under a legislative initiative passed by the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee, the bill includes $30 million for Marad's Title XI Maritime Guaranteed Loan Program.
Seapower and Expeditionary Forces
The Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee, under the leadership of Chairman Gene Taylor (D-MS), has jurisdiction over Navy and Marine Corps procurement and research and development programs, representing approximately $50 billion dollars in the fiscal year 2008 budget request.
Legislative initiatives in the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee's area of of H.R. 1585 include:
Nuclear Powered Warships
The Committee believes the major combatant ships of the Navy would gain warfighting capability if they were constructed with integrated nuclear power systems. Major combatant vessels should have maximum freedom of operations through increased speed, therefore, requires that all new ship classes of submarines, cruisers and aircraft carriers are built with integrated nuclear power systems, unless the Secretary of Defense determines it is not in the national interest to do so.
Capital Expenditure Incentives
The Navy is authorized to provide contractors in the shipbuilding industry with capital expenditure incentives to support investment in facilities and process improvements for current and future shipbuilding contracts. These improvements must he shown to cause significant savings in either the cost of construction or the life cycle of the vessel. The Committee is convinced that controlling escalating shipbuilding costs is essential to national security, and increasing the efficiency of shipyards is an important step in this direction.
Maritime Administration Guaranteed Loan Program
The Committee feels it is important to maintain a robust merchant marine comprised of vessels constructed in the U.S., and therefore continues the $30 million for the Maritime Guaranteed Loan Program, authorized in the Maritime Security Act of 2003. This is an urgently needed tool for rebuilding the domestic fleet and preserving critical shipbuilding infrastructure and skills at our domestic shipyards.
Virginia-Class Submarine Multi-Year Procurement
The Committee authorizes the Navy to enter into a second multi-year procurement contract for construction of additional Virginia-class submarines.
Report on the LCS Program
The Secretary of the Navy is directed to report on the root causes of the cost overruns in the LCS program, methods since implemented to prevent a recurrence and an analysis of alternatives for future LCS acquisitions strategies.
Retirement of Naval Vessels
The Navy is directed to report on the ships that are scheduled for retirement in the next five years and have not yet reached the end of their useful life. The report will include the Navy's strategy for future design and construction of Navy ships to ensure the can he upgraded economically throughout their hull life.