Mar 24 2011
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after being informed of the Department of Defense’s decision to issue a ninety-day stop work order in preparation for cancelling the congressionally authorized and appropriated F136 engine program for the Joint Strike Fighter:
“Yesterday, my staff director at the House Armed Services Committee received a call from Under Secretary of Defense Ash Carter informing the committee of the Department’s decision to discontinue funding for the Joint Strike Fighter’s competitive engine program.
“The views of the President and Secretary Gates are well known on this topic, but those opinions—however strong—are not the law. The Joint Strike Fighter F136 engine program is funded under the current Continuing Resolution. The Secretary should follow current law and not pre-empt the Congressional deliberation process by yanking funding after a single amendment vote.
“Regardless of the convenient arguments utilized by the Department of Defense and others, canceling the engine competition and awarding a sole-source, never-competed contract constitutes the largest earmark in the history of the Department of Defense. In the case of the Littoral Combat Ship, our industry partners did not voluntarily lower their price—competition forced a lower price per ship. In this era of fiscal responsibility, I am stunned that the Administration and the Congress would accept the argument that it is good policy to save a dollar today only to spend a thousand dollars tomorrow.
“The Department’s decision is especially troubling when you consider their preferred engine has experienced development delays and a cost to complete increase of 445 percent over the last three years.
“Going forward, we will explore all legislative options available to us to maintain engine competition in the largest acquisition program in U.S. history.”