WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is sending Congress his eighth and final budget, proposing to spend a record $4.1 trillion on a number of initiatives. They include launching a new war on cancer, combating global warming and fighting growing threats from ISIS terrorists.
The new spending plan, for the budget year that begins Oct. 1 – just 3½ months before he leaves office – is facing heavy fire from Republicans who hope to capture the White House. The proposal had dim prospects of winning approval in a Republican-controlled Congress.
In all, Obama’s budget would increase taxes by $2.6 trillion over the coming decade, nearly double the $1.4 trillion in new taxes Obama sought and failed to achieve in last year’s budget.
Also, the 2017 spending plan proposes cutting the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program with the U.S. Navy. The budget proposal suggests trimming the order in 2017 to two LCS ships from the original order of three ships per year, which would impact the Mobile-based Austal ship-building company.
Last year, the Pentagon released a plan to cut the LCS program to 40 LCS ships, down from 52 total ships. Also, Defense Secretary Ash Carter suggested moving the LCS program to only one supplier. At this point, Austal USA and Fincantieri Marinette Marine are the two suppliers.
U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued this statement today about Obama’s spending plan and cuts to LCS program:
President Obama and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter just don’t get it. At a time when our nation is facing a range of threats from every corner of the globe, they are proposing to ignore the advice of Navy leaders and cut the LCS program. The Navy has made crystal clear they support and need 52 Littoral Combat Ships in order to fulfill their mission.
“Since my first day in Congress, I have been working with my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee and throughout the House to build support for this important program. That’s why I’m confident Congress will reject this flawed proposal from a lame-duck President and a lame-duck Secretary of Defense.