Citizens Against Government Waste Names Rep. Rob Wittman July 2023 Porker of the Month | Citizens Against Government Waste

Citizens Against Government Waste Names Rep. Rob Wittman July 2023 Porker of the Month

Press Release

July 11, 2023
For Immediate Release
July 11, 2023
Contact: Alexandra Abrams (202-467-5310)

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) our July 2023 Porker of the Month for wanting to waste billions on an unnecessary alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The F-35 needs an engine upgrade, not a new engine, which the Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed in its fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request.  There is $462 million for the Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) and no funding for the alternate engine.  Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said that the alternate engine is “not affordable,” and it does not fit into all three versions of the JSF.  It would also require duplicative personnel and could jeopardize pilot safety.  The initial cost of the alternate engine would be $6.7 billion, or 279 percent more than the $2.4 billion cost for the ECU.  And the White House “strongly opposes” funding for the alternate engine, noting that the ECU upgrade is “more affordable and a common solution across all three F-35 variants.”  But Rep. Wittman claims it would support the industrial base and the technology might be needed in the future. 

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Rep. Wittman’s proposal to fund the alternate engine would waste a mountain of money.  The more cost-effective idea, as supported by the DOD and the White House, is to upgrade the current engine for the JSF, which would initially cost only $2.4 billion and eventually save $40 billion.  There should not be any debate over which engine makes more sense for taxpayers and national security.  For wanting to waste billions of dollars for an engine that should not be built, Rep. Wittman was an easy choice for this month’s Porker.”

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


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Alexandra Abrams
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