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Lawmakers concerned about Navy budget request

Under the 2022 plan, the Navy would lose 15 active ships, including seven guided missile cruisers.

WASHINGTON — The Navy has submitted a surprising update to Congress on its annual long-range shipbuilding plans.

That update marks a change of course from the long-planned standard of a 355-ship fleet in the future.

Instead, it lays out a fleet with as few as 321 manned ships.

Now, some lawmakers are expressing misgivings about the Navy's budget low request for the coming fiscal year.

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va., 1st District) gave the Biden Administration a "D-minus."

"It has been said that Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned," he said. "In this case, President Biden is fiddling while the Navy is metaphorically burning We have no strategic direction, no plan to dissuade China, and no budget to adequately prepare for maritime conflict."

House Armed Services Committee Vice Chair Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va., 2nd District) argued for a comprehensive maritime strategy “that defines what the Navy needs to do, how it needs to do it, the resources required, and how to manage risk if those resources aren’t available.”