CAGW Names Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon Porker of the Month



For Immediate Release

Contact:  Leslie K. Paige    202.467.5334

May 11, 2011

Luke Gelber    202.467.5305

 


(Washington, D.C.) - Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) its May, 2011 Porker of the Month for inserting funding for the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into the House version of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.  As chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. McKeon is tasked with piecing together the bill.


CAGW has long opposed the alternate engine.  It has been criticized as wasteful and unnecessary by taxpayers, the Bush and Obama administrations, and numerous top military officials.  On May 20, 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made it clear that he will recommend that the President veto any legislation that includes funding for the alternate engine, a pledge that has been reiterated by the White House. 


Additionally, in a January 6, 2011 speech about military’s budget, Secretary Gates said that spending limited resources on the alternate engine constitutes excess overhead and is an unneeded program.  In the speech, Gates stated that “every dollar spent on excess overhead or unneeded programs – such as the extra engine for the JSF – is a dollar not available to support our troops and prepare for threats on the horizon.”  On February 16, 2011, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen told the House Armed Services Committee, “I mean, I’ve been doing money a long time.  I cannot make sense out of this second engine.  It is two to three years behind.  It’s not going to compete, quite frankly.”  On March 24, 2011, the Pentagon placed a stop work order on the alternate engine.  The project has been funded with $1.2 billion in anonymous earmarks since FY 2004. 


“The alternate engine has been a $3 billion boondoggle and taxpayers should not sink one more dime of limited resources into this failed project.  This program has become the epitome of senseless government waste, diverting resources away from other important military projects and expenditures that keep the nation and our troops safe and secure,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.  “The only general that supports the alternate engine is General Electric.”


For insisting that taxpayers fund a useless jet engine that will only exacerbate our country’s soaring debt, CAGW names Rep. McKeon May 2011 Porker of the Month. 


Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers. 

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