It appears that the considerable, unrelenting lobbying effort of shipbuilders and Navy leaders has finally worked. According to a wire reports, a House of Representatives panel
on Tuesday, April 30, voted to spend $3.2 billion more on military hardware than
the President asked for, a sum which includes an additional $1 billion for Navy Ships
that the House Armed Services procurement subcommittee approved a plan to provide $73.4 billion for aircraft, submarines, missile defense and other military hardware for next fiscal year that starts in October.
It is part of the $396 billion defense bill the full committee is to consider on Wednesday that lays the groundwork for President George W. Bush
's plan for the biggest military buildup in more than two decades.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Navy's awarding of an estimated $2.9 billion contract to develop the newest family of Navy Ships
, DD(x), to the Northrop Grumman (NOC)
led Gold Team.
The Pentagon asked
for money to build five new warships next year, down from six this year and below many lawmakers' target of nine or 10 they say are needed to maintain the fleet.
The defense authorization bill the full committee is to act on Wednesday, May 1, sets out spending and policy plans for the Pentagon, but the money will be allocated later when Congress approves
the series of budget bills that fund the government. (wire and staff reports)