Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

POGO Knocks Wasteful Defense Spending-Bill Spending — F-35, Carrier Refueling

A staff member prepares the replica of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the exhibition centre ahead of the Singapore's Airshow on Feb. 9. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A staff member prepares the replica of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the exhibition center ahead of the Singapore’s Airshow on Feb. 9. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Project on Government Oversight has issued something of report card on the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. The group likes some things the House did, but not others.

In the bad column: almost $6 billion in funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which hasn’t had a great June; and refueling of the nuclear-powered U.S.S. George Washington aircraft carrier, touted by potential Republican presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

In the good column: a halt to funding for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund, the money for which has been hard to track; an amendment that blocked funding for unused facilities; and an amendment that blocked the retirement of the A-10 Warthog, which provides close air support to ground troops.

The Obama administration has tried to eliminate the A-10 as a cost-savings measure, but POGO national security policy analyst Ethan Rosenkranz pointed to its cost-effectiveness in relation to the F-35, among other advantages. Another group that seeks to combat wasteful spending was more on the fence about the A-10 retirement proposal. (Of note: The A-10 amendment does not account for the spending gap created by preserving the A-10.)

POGO also found fault with the House going along with the placeholder figure for the war-related Overseas Contingency Operations account. A fuller proposal is expected to hit Capitol Hill Thursday.

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  1. Yonatan YONATAN

    June 29, 2014
    6:40 p.m.

    Money for war, and money for foreign Aid, but no money for the three million unemployed families STILL WITHOUT an extension bill, since late last December. While the Republicans were busy in the senate getting the Koch brother’s Oil Pipeline bill passed, these millions of unemployed families were losing everything they ever worked for. Because of the republican’s refusal to pass the unemployment extension bill, these people have fallen into financial ruin and deep poverty. Some which may never be able to recover from. These families have been destroyed financially, due to senators such as, John Boehner, who made it his duty to prevent the passing of the bill in the senate. He even went as far as to call these families “Lazy:”. As poster boy for the “new republican party”, he has made it crystal clear his contempt for the poor and unemployed and for immigrants. He and his cohorts would rather pass bills that would benefit corporations and special interest groups, than to pass bills to help the poor and needy. The democrats are not guilt free either, for they have chosen to walk away from the issue, and no longer pursue it again. They too have disappointed millions of these families, who thought that they would help them. Both parties have been a total flop and disappointment.

  2. Mike

    July 9, 2014
    7:14 a.m.

    Troubles never seem to end for the F-35 Strike Fighter. Not yet fully operational, the nuclear-capable fighter-bomber recently had different test versions either leak oil in flight or burst into flames on takeoff.

    The F-35 is the world’s most expensive weapons system – $400 billion and counting. The estimated lifetime cost of this military-industrial project is $1.5 trillion. The F-35 is already close to a decade behind schedule and its cost is already more than twice the original estimate. The Pentagon has lowered its performance specs and it’s still years from being operational.

    According to Motley Fool, the estimated additional cost to operate and maintain the F-35 for 55 years is another $1.1 trillion. At more than $2 trillion, the F-35 is projected to cost more than half the entire Iraq War, so far.

    On June 26, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) issued a report on the 2015 defense spending bill passed by the House recently. The report criticized $6 billion more in spending on the under-performing F-35 and supported spending on the relatively cost-effective A-10 Warthog (for close air support to ground troops) that the Obama administration wants to cut…..

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