The Budget and 10,000 Navy Jobs

Because Congress has not done its job and passed a Defense Department budget due last September, 10,000 private sector jobs at shipyards, factories and Navy and Marine Corps facilities across the country are at risk, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee this morning.

The Navy, like the whole Defense Department, has operated this fiscal year under a continuing resolution that sets its budget at 2010 levels. Unless Congress provides its requested budget, Mabus said, the Navy will need to delay start of construction on one submarine and possibly two destroyers.

The Marines face a $563 million cut in their procurement budget and reductions in Navy and Marine construction budgets will defer the start of 89 new projects around the country, Mabus said. He added it will take three years for the service to recover from the dragged-out budget stalemate.

The whole hassle arises from the only truly bipartisan policy on the Hill -- no matter who is in charge: Congress has failed to pass budget bills on time for most of the 25 years I have covered the federal government.