Despite long-standing maintenance issues and supply chain concerns, lawmakers recently greenlit $9.6 billion in funding for 96 new F-35s — 17 more than the Trump administration requested. For that addition to the long-troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), says his organization has named Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio) the "Porker of the Month."
"Congress has been adding earmarks for this program for many, many years -- $1.7 billion in earmarks added in fiscal year 2021, $10.6 billion since 2001,” Schatz explains. "And even though there have been delays and cost overruns, Representative Turner thinks that adding more of the F-35s will lower the cost, which makes no sense when you are already over budget and behind schedule."
In the eyes of some politicians and private citizens, any efforts to rein in defense spending is a non-starter. And while he recognizes that it is necessary, Schatz says there is no reason to waste a single penny on it.
"Each year, CAGW issues the Congressional Pig Book, and each year, half of the earmarks in the Congressional Pig Book are added for the Department of Defense, which means that the money is not going where it is most needed," says Schatz. "That affects the war fighters, it affects our capabilities, and many members of Congress unfortunately see the defense budget as a place to add this money. That's not right, and that's really not helpful to our country."
Schatz adds that waste is waste.
"It knows no political boundaries," he concludes.
Rep. Turner's office did not respond to an email from One News Now seeking comment.