Connecticut’s defense sector stands to benefit from a $106 billion Biden administration request for supplemental national security funding, currently awaiting action by Congress, which includes $3.4 billion to shore up the nation’s submarine industrial base.
The bulk of the funding request, which President Joe Biden submitted to Congress on Friday, includes $61.4 billion in support to help Ukraine fend off an ongoing invasion by Russian forces, $14.3 billion in assistance for Israel’s war with Hamas, and $13.6 billion for U.S. border security, according to Reuters.
However, part of the requested funding will pay for initiatives to accelerate the construction of new attack submarines through supplier development likely to benefit Groton-based Electric Boat.
“Key investments are also needed in the American submarine industrial base to increase our ability to build and sustain attack submarines—one of our most effective deterrence capabilities,” Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote to House leaders on Friday.
“This request makes urgent and strategic investments—including workforce development, infrastructure, and supplier capacity building—that are necessary to meet U.S. military requirements,” Young said.
In a press release, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said the request would enable submarine manufacturers to help the U.S. Navy meet its fleet requirements.
“President Biden’s $3.4 billion request to strengthen the Navy’s submarine fleet and our submarine industrial base underscores the Administration’s clear-eyed commitment to growing U.S. undersea supremacy,” Courtney said.
However, the White House requests comes as the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives continues to be mired in a leadership struggle, which began nearly three weeks ago, when the chamber voted to remove now-former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Subsequent attempts to elect a new speaker have so far failed.
Young’s Friday letter to lawmakers was directed at current acting Speaker, Patrick McHenry, R-NC.
“The world is watching and the American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities,” Young wrote. “I urge Congress to address them as part of a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement in the weeks ahead.”
In his Friday press release, Courtney said he was prepared to work across the aisle to ensure passage of the national security funding.
“In order to advance President Biden’s request, my Democratic colleagues and I continue to stand united and ready to negotiate with the Republican majority to find a bipartisan forward and ensure the Republicans’ infighting does not stall this urgent business,” Courtney said.