March 6, 2020
On behalf of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the largest defense union in the United States, I am writing to urge you to sign on to an important, bipartisan letter in support of the Virginia-class and the Columbia-class submarine programs (see attached). The letter, led by Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rob Wittman (R-VA), and Jim Langevin (D-RI), asks the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to continue their support for a two-per-year build rate for the Virginia-class submarine and to continue their commitment to the Columbia-class submarine program as they develop the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Defense appropriations bill.
Our nation’s submarine fleet remains one of our most important strategic defense assets, but the dwindling fleet is in need of replenishment. Continued, unwavering support of the Virginia-class program is essential to our national security and to ensure the United States maintains its dominance at sea. In addition, the program provides for thousands of high-skilled Machinists Union jobs, and consistent support of the program is vital to maintaining this workforce and a strong domestic industrial base. For these reasons, Congress has consistently supported a two-per-year build rate for Virginia-class submarines. We are deeply concerned with the Administration’s FY21 budget proposal which reduces funding for the program and proposes to purchase only one Virginia-class submarine in FY21. The attached letter urges support for maintaining a two-per-year build rate and fully funding a second Virginia-class submarine in FY 2021.
Conversely, the Administration’s FY2021 budget proposes an appropriate level of funding for the Columbia-class submarine program. This program also provides for thousands of high-skilled Machinists Union jobs and is vital to maintaining the integrity of our domestic industrial base. The attached letter urges support for the President’s FY2021 budget request for the Columbia-class submarine program.
On behalf of the thousands of Machinists Union members proudly working in the shipbuilding industry across the United States, I urge you to sign on to this important bipartisan letter. To sign on, please contact Sam Menchel in Congressman Courtney’s office at email@example.com.
For more information, please contact IAM Legislative Director Hasan Solomon at (301) 967-4575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Martinez, Jr.