WASHINGTON (WAVY) - Congressional representatives from Hampton Roads offered anamendment Thursday to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)aimed at stopping the transfer of an aircraft carrier from Norfolkto Mayport, Florida.
Reps. Glenn Nye, Randy Forbes and Rob Wittman offered theamendment during consideration of the annual defense policylegislation in the House Armed Services ReadinessSubcommittee. Click here to view the amendment introduced byNye.
The amendment, which passed with bipartisan supports, prevents$2 million from being allocated to begin the planning and designfor military construction projects needed to relocate the aircraftcarrier.
There are no representatives from Florida on the House ArmedServices Readiness Subcommittee. The Readiness Subcommitte'sVirginia members all represent areas of Hampton Roads.
"With an already strained defense budget and rapidly increasingfederal government spending, this redundant homeport creates anunnecessary burden on the budget," Wittman said in a releasedstatement. "Before the Navy begins the process of spending $1billion to create a second homeport for nuclear aircraft carrierson the East Coast, the Navy should instead focus on the backlogs inship repairs and other Navy priorities in need of funding."
“I’m committed to using our defense dollars wisely,and without a clear, risk-based rationale for creating a redundanthomeport, I will continue working to block this unnecessaryspending," said Nye in another released statement. "I wasproud to introduce this amendment today with the support of mycolleagues in the Hampton Roads delegation, Congressmen Rob Wittmanand Randy Forbes, and we’re going to keep making the casethat the Navy’s controversial homeporting plan is not a gooduse of taxpayer dollars.”
The amendment must still be approved by the House Armed ServicesCommittee, which includes two members from Florida - Reps. ThomasJ. Rooney and Jeff Miller. Once the National DefenseAuthorization Act exits the committee, the House of Representativesmust also approve all amendments. The final bill willultimately need to also be reconciled with the Senate version.
A spokesperson for Rep. Nye expects the full House ArmedServices Committee to debate and pass the bill on Wednesday. A vote in the House of Representatives will come later thissummer.
The NDAA is the bill that specifies the Pentagon's annual budgetand spending.
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