President Donald Trump plans to visit Newport News Shipbuilding on Thursday.
According to Huntington Ingalls Industries spokesperson Beci Brenton, Trump is expected to give remarks aboard the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.
The visit to Hampton Roads will come two days after Trump is set to deliver his first address during a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
It also comes on the heels of the release of the president’s budgetary priorities — and military spending is at the top.
Newport News Shipbuilding, which is controlled by Huntington Ingalls Industries, is responsible for the design, construction, overhaul and repair of more than 800 ships for the U.S. Navy and commercial customers, according to the company’s website.
NNS is also the nation’s sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines, the website states.
On Monday, the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the fiscal 2018 budget would include $603 billion in defense spending and $462 billion in domestic funding.
The proposed defense total is a $54 billion increase above the Budget Control Act spending caps for defense, an expansion Mulvaney called one of the “largest increases in history.” The president said he intends to focus federal spending on national security, including boosts to the military, local law enforcement and the Border Patrol, according to POLITICO.
Monday’s announcement follows months of Trump campaigning on the need to increase military spending.
“History shows that when America is not prepared is when the danger is greatest,” Trump said during a campaign stop in Philadelphia last September. “We want to deter, avoid and prevent conflict through our unquestioned military dominance.”
Such campaign rhetoric struck a chord with area voters, as Trump’s support in the Historic Triangle was significant during the election cycle.
Voters in the Greater Williamsburg area cast nearly 5,000 more votes for Trump than for former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Only the City of Williamsburg rejected Trump, where Hillary Clinton took 3,281 votes more than the president.
Demonstrations in support of Trump are planned throughout the country on Saturday. March 4 Trump, a “national day of action” planned by a group in Virginia Beach, is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on March 4 at Mount Trashmore Park.
Another series of marches in support of the president are also scheduled to take place Saturday. A group called Main Street Patriots said it helped organize “Spirit of America” rallies in at least 33 of the 50 states, according to a report in Reuters.
“The American electorate spoke loud and clear this past November,” Main Street Patriots Co-Founder Ralph King wrote in a news release announcing the event. “These Spirit of America Rallies are a continuation of the collective voice of American’s [sic] that embrace President Trump’s policies to put the American workers and citizens first once again.”
Amy Poulter from WYDaily’s sister publication, Southside Daily, contributed reporting.