|Lieberman, Larson lauds stop-work order for alternative engine|
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (ID-CT) and Congressman John Larson (CT-01) today applauded the Department of Defense’s decision to stop work on the F136 alternate engine, a duplicative, wasteful program that our military does not want or need.
“The termination of the alternate engine program is an essential step toward focusing our scarce defense dollars on the programs that will actually help keep America safer,” Lieberman said. “As American service members fight to defend our freedoms and safeguard human life across the world, I hope that today’s decision will allow Congress to set this long-debated matter aside and move on to the critical business of the American people.”
“I applaud Secretary Gates for following through on his commitment to end the Joint Strike Fighter’s duplicative ‘extra’ engine program,” Congressman Larson said. “This program is the epitome of government waste, one that the Secretary himself referred to as an ‘unnecessary and extravagant expense.’ Today’s decision will save the American people nearly a million dollars a day and bring to close an issue that has been debated in Congress for more than 4 years. I hope that my colleagues will now join me in focusing our attention on more pressing national security matters.
The Defense Department’s action comes after Congress has repeatedly voted in support of efforts by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and senior military leaders to end the duplicative program to develop an extra engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. In 2009, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted an amendment introduced by Lieberman to prevent additional funding for the F136 engine. Last month, the House overwhelmingly voted to terminate the alternate engine, as well.
With the release of the fiscal year 2012 Defense budget, Secretary Gates said he would “look at all available legal options to close down [the Alternate Engine program]” if Congress failed to adopt a funding bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. On March 8, Lieberman and Larson (D-CT) sent a letter to Secretary Gates urging him to act on his authority to immediately terminate the program, which has cost American taxpayers almost a million dollars per day this year and would cost an additional $3 billion to complete development.