Today, Americans for Tax Reform, joined by a strong coalition of groups representing millions of taxpayers, sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to reject any earmarks in the final funding resolution for the current fiscal year. In particular, the coalition called on members to keep the F-35 Alternate Engine earmark out of the bill, citing its rejection by both chambers on previous funding measures, as well as the consensus from both the Pentagon and White House that the Alternate Engine is wasteful and unnecessary. From the letter:
Both the White House and Defense Secretary Gates have rejected the extra engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and called on Congress to stop funding this wasteful program. The House of Representatives recently struck funding for the duplicative engine line from its long-term funding bill and the Senate eliminated funding for the account last year. What’s more, the Pentagon recently issued a stop-work order to the maker of the engine, GE, signaling what should be considered the final nail in the Alternate Engine’s coffin.
The Republican caucuses of each chamber, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the President have all heralded an end to pork-barrel politics and refused to accept earmarks in the 112th Congress. This commitment rings hollow if earmarks are funded in the final government funding measure of this fiscal year. As the debate on what the final bill will look like wages on, lawmakers should take this opportunity to demonstrate a serious commitment to prudence by rejecting any attempt to earmark the bill.
A funding resolution could be completed by as early as tomorrow. Click here to read the entire letter.