Seapower subcommittee chair pushes for more Defense spending

The chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee told a Navy audience Wednesday that despite the concerns over the budget deficit, the nation was not spending enough on defense.

They could start cutting in other areas of government spending that he said were not necessary, and maybe not even constitutional, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., said. He advocated returning to "first principles" and fund those things the federal government was intended to do, including "providing for the common defense."

The idea of cutting the total budget by taking a certain percentage from everything was "stupid," Akin told the Surface Navy Association conference in Arlington, Va.

Akin said he was confident the large contingent of new conservative Republicans in the House would understand their constitutional responsibility was to properly fund the national defense.

While acknowledging the recent notice of China's major improvements in military technology, including possible operational capability of an anti-ship ballistic missile and first flight of an F-22-like stealthy fighter, Akin said a greater threat to the Navy was internal, in the way the government spends taxpayer money.

Part of the problem with the way the government spends is that Congress is "an old institution" and its organization is "all messed up," the congressman said. He singled out the fact that the authorizing committees, such as Armed Services, had no real power over funding, which is controlled by the Appropriations Committee. He called for unifying the authorization and appropriations process, while acknowledging that veteran lawmakers would resist.

Earlier at the SNA conference, the Navy's No. 2 officer said the service's leaders are "going to have to be more aggressive" in reaching out to the lawmakers and aides who will shape their authorization and funding.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the vice chief of naval operations, also said it was "incredibly hard" for the services to operate under the continuing resolution approved by the lame-duck Congress in December to fund the government, instead of the normal full-year appropriations. The CR extends the fiscal 2010 funding levels, with some minor adjustments, and covers only ongoing programs.

"The major problem of a continuing resolution is, we're just continuing," the admiral said. "Everything that's a new start, we can't get started," he said.

The "antiquated rules" of a CR impose other restrictions on how the services can spend their funds, making it difficult to manage the money, Greenert added.

He said the Pentagon would send a report to Congress this month explaining the "impact" of continuing with the CR beyond the current March end point. Then Congress will have to decide how to continue for the rest of the fiscal year, he said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.