Sunday, March 27, 2011

MN-02 : Kline Eerily Silent After Taxpayer Victory on JSF Engine

It seems that John Kline (R-MN-02) takes every opportunity to alert voters to Washington’s Reckless Spending … but not this week when the Department of Defense issued a stop-work order
DOD Issues Stop Work Order on the JSF F136 Extra Engine Program

The Department of Defense (DoD) today issued a stop work order in connection with the Joint Strike Fighter extra engine program.
The administration and the DoD strongly oppose the extra engine program, as reflected in the President’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal that was recently submitted to Congress, which does not include funding for the program. In our view it is a waste of taxpayer money that can be used to fund higher Departmental priorities, and should be ended now.
The House of Representatives has recently expressed its own opposition to the extra engine in its passage of H.R. 1 including the adoption of the Rooney Amendment which removed all fiscal 2011 funding for this program. In addition, funding for the extra engine was not authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2011, enacted in January. In light of these recent events, Congressional prerogatives, and the administration’s view of the program, we have concluded that a stop work order is now the correct course. The stop work order will remain in place pending final resolution of the program’s future, for a period not to exceed 90 days, unless extended by agreement of the government and the contractor.

Some considered this to be a victory for the TaxEnoughAlready movement that advocate Fiscal Responsible operation of OUR government.

Yes, some did issue press releases …
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) :
I have long called for the elimination of funding for a second F-35 jet engine which is a wasteful use of taxpayer money," said Senator Collins. "As we begin to tackle the mounting debt, we must eliminate programs like this that are duplicative and unnecessary. I applaud the Secretary of Defense's decision to halt further development of the extra engine."

Congressman John Larson (D-CT-01) I applaud Secretary Gates for following through on his commitment to end the Joint Strike Fighter’s duplicative ‘extra’ engine program,” Congressman Larson said. “This program is the epitome of government waste, one that the Secretary himself referred to as an ‘unnecessary and extravagant expense.’ Today’s decision will save the American people nearly a million dollars a day and bring to close an issue that has been debated in Congress for more than 4 years. I hope that my colleagues will now join me in focusing our attention on more pressing national security matters.

Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) The termination of the alternate engine program is an essential step toward focusing our scarce defense dollars on the programs that will actually help keep America safer, ” Lieberman said. “As American service members fight to defend our freedoms and safeguard human life across the world, I hope that today’s decision will allow Congress to set this long-debated matter aside and move on to the critical business of the American people.”

That’s correct, Republicans, Democrats and Independent members of Congress laud this ending of another example of Washington’s Reckless Spending.

So, how did this happen.
First, let’s give credit to the man who put the nail in the coffin by corralling 47 freshman House members to score a 233–198 vote on an amendment that scuttled the program … Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL-16)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of my amendment striking funding for an extra engine for the F-35 fighter Jet to immediately save American taxpayers $450 million dollars.
“It is dubious why Congress continues to fund a program that the Air Force, Navy, the Marine Corps and Department of Defense adamantly state they do not want. Just today, Defense Secretary Gates called the program “an unnecessary and extravagant expense” and stated that this money is needed for higher priority defense efforts. As we decide which cuts to make in our defense, ones that won’t hurt our troops today, this should be at the top of the list.
“Mr. Speaker, the American people sent us here to change how Washington works. This amendment is a perfect opportunity to show your constituents that business as usual in Washington is over. I urge my colleagues to follow through with their promises, to listen to the voters on why they sent us here, and vote to strike funding for this expensive and unnecessary program. Thank you and I yield back the balance of my time.”

Normally, Mr. Kline likes to promote these successes …. but on the F136 alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, Mr. Kline was eerily silent.

Why because Mr. Kline voted to keep the funding going … as did potential President Michele Bachmann (R-MN-06) and Raymond Cravaack (R-MN-08).

The Pentagon opposed this program … as did the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration, yet Congress kept funding it.

The choice should have been clear … support John Boehner (R-OH-08) whose chief beneficiary, General Electric is a major employer in Ohio … or support Fiscal Responsible spending.

This vote tells voters who are the Faux Fiscal Conservatives that are working for the Washington powerbrokers … who are truly concerned about addressing wasteful spending.

THANKS to Tim Walz (D-MN-01), Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), Keith Ellison (D-MN-05) and Colin Peterson (D-MN-07) for voting to end this wasteful program.

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