Senate panel balks at full funding of 2nd Virginia-class submarine, a priority for Connecticut, forcing negotiations with the House

Senate panel balks at full funding of 2nd Virginia-class submarine, a priority for Connecticut, forcing negotiations with the House

The fate of construction of a second Virginia-class submarine next year — an important project that would provide a boost to Connecticut’s economy — was thrown into doubt Tuesday as a U.S. Senate subcommittee only partially funded the nuclear sub, sending the program into negotiations with the U.S. House of Representatives.

President Donald Trump proposed in his budget in February $4.2 billion for the Virginia, which would fund just one submarine in 2021. The administration defended the budget as reflecting an assumption that overseas operations will require less funding “as the president works to end endless wars.”

Trump’s 2021 budget request breaks the two-per-year build rate that has been in place since 2011. Since 2018, Congress has allocated $1.1 billion for the second submarine, including an additional $200 million last year to support the sustained two-per-year rate of construction. The submarines are built at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton and Quonset Point, Rhode Island and at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.