Forbes vows to keep the USS George Washington

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) said on Monday that lawmakers were not going to allow the USS George Washington aircraft carrier to be cut in 2016 to be cut despite current Pentagon plans to do so.

“I am not worried that the United States is going to lose a carrier because I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Forbes said at a press conference on Monday. 

The Pentagon has proposed a 2015 defense budget that would prepare for the George Washington’s inactivation if defense cuts known as sequestration are not lifted by 2016. 

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Although Congress has no plans to undo sequestration, which would impose cuts of $50 billion on the Pentagon over the next decade, Forbes said he was confident lawmakers would keep the carrier. 

This week, the House Armed Services subcommittees will meet to begin markups of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which could put money toward a scheduled refueling of the George Washington. 

Forbes is the chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, which will mark up its portion of the NDAA on Wednesday. 

“In every contingency operation planned, we have the carrier. ... [It] is the main thing the President of the United States is going to always ask, ‘Where are my carriers?’ We’re going to make sure that carrier is in there,” he said. 

“I think that’s important for us to do,” he said.  

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