Yesterday, Americans for Tax Reform and its Center for Fiscal Accountability called on members of Congress to pass a clean Continuing Resolution (CR) bill. The latest attempt to fund the government without actually completing the appropriations process, the long-term CR slated to be on the floor of the House today will extend funding for the next ten months at FY 2010 levels. This CR, a bloated four hundred-page bill, more closely resembles an omnibus bill due to the extensive outlays it authorizes, leading many to deem this bill the "cromnibus" for FY2011.

Most notably, the CR could include funding for wasteful pet projects, such as the F136 Joint Strike Fighter engine. An extensive, four hundred-page CR offers plenty of hiding spots for earmarked spending, a point ATR and CFA highlighted in the letter sent to the hill yesterday:

The Office of Management and Budget directs that programs cannot be funded in a Continuing Resolution that have not been authorized through Congressional legislation. As such, a Continuing Resolution should be the cleanest of funding mechanisms, devoid of the political pork-barreling that so often plagues the appropriations process.

This means lawmakers should be opposed to passing a CR that includes funding for the wasteful F136 joint strike fighter engine, a program whose funding the Pentagon has not requested for four years and was not included in the Senate’s Defense Appropriations bill this year.

For too long, politics has usurped policy as Congress continues to fund this extra engine program that has produced no engines and lags behind schedule while running over budget. The extra engine program would cost an additional $3 billion this year without actually delivering an engine for several years. Meanwhile, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the only defense aircraft with multiple engine suppliers. Every other military aircraft developed recently has been contracted with single-engine suppliers, without any detriment to military operations.

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.