Lawmakers to Hagel: Don’t cut any carriers

A bipartisan group of House Armed Services lawmakers are warning the Pentagon not to cut any aircraft carriers in its 2015 budget proposal.

Eleven members of the committee — including Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Seapower subcommittee Chairman Randy ForbesJames (Randy) Randy ForbesToo much ‘can do,’ not enough candor Trump makes little headway filling out Pentagon jobs Why there's only one choice for Trump's Navy secretary MORE (R-Va.) — wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelAlmost 100 former officials, members of Congress urge Senate action on election security GOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel White House aide moves to lobbying firm MORE Tuesday urging the Pentagon not to retire any of the Navy’s 11 carriers.

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“Last year the House of Representatives expressed its strong support for the nuclear aircraft carrier fleet by voting overwhelmingly to maintain a statutory requirement to retain 11 operational aircraft carriers by a vote of 318 to 106,” wrote the lawmakers on the letter headed up by Forbes.

“There is no doubt that there is enduring bipartisan support for a robust Navy supporting a capital fleet of 11 nuclear aircraft carriers,” they said.

The letter was written after Defense News reported this week that Pentagon officials are mulling whether to cut a carrier and carrier air wing in its 2015 budget, as part of the Pentagon’s budget tightening.

Six Democrats, including Seapower ranking member Mike McIntyre (N.C.), and five Republicans signed onto Tuesday’s letter.