Lawmakers seek to block Navy from retiring aircraft carrier

A subpanel of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday adopted legislation that would prevent the Pentagon from retiring an aircraft carrier and reducing purchases of littoral combat ships.

The markup from the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces would require the Obama administration to fuel and overhaul the U.S.S. George Washington aircraft carrier in 2015 to extend its life for another 25 years.

"The administration did not request the anticipated $796 million funding in fiscal year 2015 to support the continued planning of the nuclear refueling of CVN-73,” said subcommittee Chairman Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.).

“Without funding to support the nuclear refueling, the U.S. will forgo a naval battle-force ship that has another 25 years of service life remaining and diminish the overall standing of the U.S.  military power,” Forbes said.

The markup also authorizes funding for two littoral combat ships, and advances procurement funding for two more ships. The Pentagon had planned to buy just three.

Forbes said there would be additional funding adjustment, policy issues and directive reporting requirements that would be included in the panel’s mark in the coming days.