By: Avery Kleinman
Last week, Navy officials made their case to the Senate Armed Services Committee about the negative effects of the upcoming, across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. In conversations described as tense and unfriendly, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) fired back at the officials, pointing out the high number of over-budget Navy projects.
According to InsideDefense.com, McCain said the cost overruns undermine the Navy’s pleas for flexibility during sequestration.
The service’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, was a particular point of contention. The ship is $2 billion over budget and behind schedule. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said the Navy will need an additional $500 million to complete the carrier.
Greenert and the other service chiefs can’t truly come before Congress and lament sequestration if they are not controlling costs, McCain said, arguing that Greenert can’t say the Ford program needs $500 million more to complete, without mentioning that it is already $2 billion over.
“You know what two billion dollars can do for the state of Arizona?” McCain asked rhetorically.
“There’s nothing you can do. That’s the problem. That’s why when you don’t fire anybody, there’s no retribution, there’s nobody that’s held responsible. Then of course they’re going to continue that practice. Although, they say that they have been making some improvements . . . ” he told reporters.
Read more on InsideDefense.com (This url is behind a paywall).
Earlier this week, the Project On Government Oversight covered the USS Gerald Ford’s christening (3 years before its projected completion), which belied its many construction problems.