U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its subcommittee on defense, today conducted a subcommittee hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2021 funding request and budget justification for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modley, as well as the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday, and the Marine Corps Commandant, General David H. Berger, testified during the hearing.
Senator Shelby’s opening remarks, as prepared, are as follows:
“Good morning, the Subcommittee will come to order.
“I am pleased to welcome our distinguished panel to consider the President’s fiscal year 2021 budget request for the Navy and Marine Corps.
“Today the Committee will hear from The Honorable Thomas Modley, the acting Secretary of the Navy; Admiral Michael Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations; and General David Berger, the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
“Gentlemen, thank you for appearing before the Committee today, and thank you for your service.
“The Defense Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2021 is $705.4 billion and complies with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019.
“The request continues its focus on the National Defense Strategy by prioritizing resources to ensure that our military can compete, deter, and win in the 21st century against near peer adversaries such as Russia and China.
“Subsequent to the President’s budget submission, the Department of Defense delivered additional funding requests for unfunded requirements totaling nearly $20 billion – funding requirements not included in the fiscal year 2021 budget request.
“For the Navy and Marine Corps these unfunded requirements amount to $6 billion.
“In reviewing the base budget request, along with the requests to fund additional requirements, the Committee is interested in hearing how these proposals build on previous investments in modernization and lethality.
“We also want to hear how the exclusion of these additional requirements impacts your ability to prepare, plan, and execute your mission requirements.
“With only a modest increase in the fiscal year 2021 budget, the Appropriations Committee and Congress have a difficult task ahead.
“We will have to prioritize resources and make difficult tradeoffs as we work to ensure that our national security needs – including those resourced outside the Department of Defense – are met.
“We appreciate your input as we weigh these funding decisions.
“Now, I turn to Vice Chairman Durbin for any opening remarks he wishes to make. Thank you.”