One Week After Visiting Newport News, Trump Whacks Major Employer in Region
One week ago, the President visited Newport News to tout his proposed military budget on the USS Gerald R. Ford (WAVY). One week later, we find out his budget would redirect $500 million for a Huntington Ingalls Coast Guard cutter to fund his beloved Mexican Wall.
To be clear, this is just part of a major funding shift away from “the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration and other agencies focused on national security threats” as the Washington Post puts it. Overall, the cuts were problematic enough to raise red flags with Congressman Duncan Hunter – one of the earliest of Trump’s supporters in last year’s primaries.
“OMB has always treated the Coast Guard like a little piggy bank that they can go after whenever they need money for anything else,” Hunter said. “If the president is serious about getting after the cartels and getting after drug networks, this makes no sense.”
Meanwhile, on this coast, one of the savings measures takes aim at Huntington Ingalls, one of the major employers here in Hampton Roads:
The Coast Guard cuts include deactivating Maritime Security Response Teams, which carry out counterterrorism patrols in ports and sensitive waterways, and canceling a contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries to build a ninth national security cutter, with a potential savings of $500 million.
Funny how Trump didn’t mention this when he was speaking from the Ford.