WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#F35–Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio) our June 2021 Porker of the Month for leading the push to add more money for the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.
The JSF has become the embodiment of the Defense Department’s (DOD) broken weapons acquisition system, which has been on the Government Accountability Office’s High-Risk List since 1990. The aircraft has been in development for nearly 20 years, total acquisition costs doubled to $428 billion, and total lifetime costs are estimated to reach $1.7 trillion, making it the most expensive weapon system in U.S. history. In fiscal year (FY) 2021, $1.7 billion in earmarks were added for 17 unrequested F-35 aircraft, bringing the total to $10.6 billion since FY 2001. Despite the F-35’s innumerable delays and cost overruns, Rep. Turner thinks the F-35 “is modern and capable” and that increasing production will further reduce overall program costs. The JSF has even been called a “piece of [expletive]” by former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and a “rathole” by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.).
CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “When the book is written on the acquisition history of the F-35, it will be dominated by tales of delays, cost overruns, and poor performance. The DOD continues to ask for funding and members of Congress continue to supply it, usually exceeding the budget request. The JSF continues to be an embarrassment for the Pentagon, yet Rep. Turner wants to increase its production. The price of an aircraft whose cost has already doubled cannot be reduced by building more. The time has come reduce the cost and scope of the F-35 program. For wanting to add more money for the F-35, he is an obvious choice for CAGW’s June Porker of the Month.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. For more than two decades, Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers and government officials who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
Alexandra Abrams (202) 467-5310