Accession Number:



Navy Ship Procurement: Alternative Funding Approaches - Background and Options for Congress

Descriptive Note:

CRS Rept. for Congress

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Some observers have proposed procuring Navy ships using incremental funding or advance appropriations rather than the traditional full funding approach that has been used to procure most Navy ships. Supporters believe these alternative funding approaches could increase stability in Navy shipbuilding plans and perhaps increase the number of Navy ships that could be built for a given total amount of ship procurement funding. The issue for the 109th Congress is whether to maintain or change current practices for funding Navy ship procurement. Congresss decision could be significant because the full funding policy relates to Congresss power of the purse and its responsibility for conducting oversight of defense programs. For Department of Defense DOD procurement programs, the full funding policy requires the entire procurement cost of a usable end item such as a Navy ship to be funded in the year in which the item is procured. Congress imposed the full funding policy on DOD in the 1950s to strengthen discipline in DOD budgeting and improve Congresss ability to control DOD spending and carry out its oversight of DOD activities. Under incremental funding, a weapons cost is divided into two or more annual increments that Congress approves separately each year. Supporters could argue that using it could avoid or mitigate budget spikes associated with procuring very expensive ships such as aircraft carriers or large-deck amphibious assault ships. Opponents could argue that using it could make total ship procurement costs less visible and permit one Congress to budgetarily tie the hands of future Congresses. Under advance appropriations, Congress makes a one-time decision to fund the entire procurement cost of an end item. That cost can then be divided into two or more annual increments that are assigned to in budget terminology, scored in two or more fiscal years.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

Distribution Statement: