CRANE — The highest ranking admiral in the U.S. Navy visited NSA Crane on Monday and assured the facility will grow even if the government goes off the fiscal cliff.
Adm. Jon Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, came to the base with Sen. Dan Coats, Sen.-elect Joe Donnelly and Congressman Todd Young. Indiana Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann also joined the tour later.
All three believed there will be a settlement before the cliff is reached by the end of the year.
“I think both Republicans and Democrats indicate that (a deal) is something we want to do,” Coats said. “We want to settle this issue as soon as we can, addressing not only our short-term issue of falling off the cliff but longer term issues of how we do with spending and tax reform.”
Young, who represents Indiana’s Ninth District, said it is not yet known what the impact will be if the cliff is reached.
“That is something a number of us in Congress, specifically on the Armed Services Committee, have pushed on the administration for those specifics,” he said.
Donnelly, who will become Indiana’s junior senator on Jan. 1, said he was more hopeful today than he has been in a long time.
“I think you can see on both sides there’s a desire to get this done,” Donnelly said. “Last week at this time, I think you would have been hard pressed to say this.”
Although Republican leaders met with President Barack Obama privately on Monday, the threat of an additional $500 billion in defense spending looms on the cliff. Greenert said due to Crane’s relevance with its work, any cuts will be minimal.
“The development of work done here resonates with our needs in the Navy,” Greenert said. “It’s not only today but the future. It will hold a high priority to me and my budget.