Lawmakers push for shipbuilding plan

June 3, 2009 at 12:17 AM

WASHINGTON, N.J., June 3 (UPI) -- Several Republican congressmen are pushing to get U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to put together a 30-year plan for building warships.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and seven GOP colleagues contend the Defense Department is violating federal law by not providing the long-range planning in its 2010 budget request, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reports.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, says a quadrennial defense review to be presented to Congress early next year will lay out the shipbuilding issues.

But Forbes said in a news release Monday that with the Defense Department's proposed restructuring of the military, it's unacceptable for the Navy to rely on last year's report. He has said he is concerned American sea power will lag behind China.

The Navy proposed last year spending an average $25 billion a year for 30 years, doubling its spending on new ships compared with years past, the newspaper said.

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