Lawmakers displeased as 30-year shipbuilding plan fails to materialize

By Nick Wilson / March 28, 2023 at 4:06 PM

Lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee are disappointed with the Navy's failure to deliver its 30-year shipbuilding plan, which they expected to receive before today's budget hearing.

“I will start with just throwing something down on the table that I’m a little bit not happy with, which is we don't yet have the 30-year shipbuilding plan,” subcommittee Chairman Tim Kaine (D-VA) said at the top of the hearing.

“When we know the hearing like this is going to be about seapower investments in shipbuilding and ship repair, of course the idea is, we get the plan first,” Kaine said. “That plan was supposed to come over with the president's budget on March 9, today is the 28th. We don't have it. We talked last week with Navy leadership [who] said that we would have it on Friday or Monday.”

During a Monday roundtable, Kaine told reporters he expected the plan would be delivered “in the next day or so.” But with no sign of the document at today’s hearing, Kaine said he now anticipates it will arrive at some point before the Senate Armed Services Committee convenes for the full Navy posture hearing. The committee has not yet announced a date for the hearing.

Ranking member Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) echoed Kaine’s comments and suggested the committee should reconvene for additional questioning once the plan is delivered.

Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition Frederick Stefany, who testified before the committee, apologized but offered no explanation for the delay. Stefany told lawmakers he would reappear at a future hearing once the 30-year plan is delivered.