Rep. Gene Taylor [D-MS-4] Chairs the US House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and Expeditionary Forces subcommittee. He has represented the 4th district for almost 20 years now, despite the fact that it hasn’t voted for his party’s presidential candidate since 1956. Taylor is a vocal critic of the US Navy’s current shipbuilding strategy, while remaining one of Congress’ strongest advocates for a larger shipbuilding budget and a larger Navy. On Feb 4/09, he released his statement on the future of US Navy shipbuilding:
“For far too many years I have watched as the size of the Navy fleet has decreased… In particular, the failure of the [Littoral Combat Ship] program to deliver on the promise of an affordable, capable, and reconfigurable warship only puts the exclamation point on a Bush administration’s strategy that was neither well envisioned nor properly executed. As for the DDG 1000, we will not know the true cost of that program for a number of years but significant cost growth on that vessel will require diverting funding from other new construction projects to pay the over-run.
Lacking the expectation of increased funding available for ship procurement, it is more important than ever to set the Navy on an affordable strategy for ship procurement… To achieve an affordable, stable shipbuilding plan I recommend the following to the new administration…”