Today, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist was joined by the President of the National Taxpayers Union, Duane Parde, the President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Thomas Schatz and the President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, David Williams in urging Senate Appropriators to eliminate waste in their Appropriations bills.

As Congress returns to its normal business after the August recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee has started marking up its FY 2012 spending bills. This week, it will debate the Defense Appropriations bill, legislation that lawmakers are traditionally hesitant to subject to serious scrutiny. ATR, NTU, CCAGW and TPA, representing millions of concerned taxpayers, urged Senate appropriators to reverse this trend and demonstrate restraint in defense spending. From the letter sent today:

We write to urge you to demonstrate strong fiscal restraint in the 2012 Defense Appropriations bill. In the recent debt limit deal, both parties agreed ending government overspending must be the first priority in confronting the nation’s debt crisis. The country cannot afford to continue wasteful spending in its most important endeavor—the nation’s security—when a lean and efficient defense is more necessary than ever.  

One particular account of concern is that for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), an antiquated missile system that has been outpaced by improvements to the Patriot missile defense system. Development for MEADS is governed by a multinational agreement between the United States, Germany and Italy. However, the Pentagon has already admitted it has no intention of procuring the system and both European nations are pursuing other options as well. There is little reason, therefore, to continue to waste taxpayer dollars on developing a system that will never be put to military use.

Ideally, the Senate Defense Appropriations bill would demonstrate the same commitment to prudence as your colleagues’ Authorization bill. The Senate Armed Services Committee rescinded all funding for MEADS in their Authorization bill, signaling an earnest effort to restore restraint to federal budget practices.

Click here for a copy of the letter in its entirety.