WASHINGTON — There was an air of optimism in a crowded room in the basement of the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill, where dozens of congressmen, staffers and defense industry executives gathered in a crowded room to hammer home the importance of the submarine to the U.S. Navy and the nation, and to the industrial base that builds them.
On March, 1 the Submarine Industrial Base Council (SIBC) held its annual Supplier Day, which gives the companies that build components for submarines the opportunity for their representatives to lobby their congressmen in person. Several senators and representatives of states where the components are built addressed the gathering in short speeches that sometimes gave the event the air of a pep rally.
The speakers, veterans of the Hill and new representatives, spoke of the contributions their states or districts make to building — or in one case retiring the reactors of — the Navy’s submarines.
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