BREAKING: Taxpayers Protection Alliance Uncovers $14.5 Billion in Earmarks in Defense Spending Bill

Michi Iljazi

March 6, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Defense Appropriations Act conference report, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has uncovered 406 earmarks totaling $14.5 billion (click here to see the full list) that were not requested by the Pentagon and inserted by members of Congress. That is an 11 percent increase in the number of projects and a one percent decrease in total dollars from FY 2016.  As some lawmakers push to return to officially bring back earmarks since they were banned in 2011, TPA continues to show that earmarks never died.  These earmarks are more alarming considering President Trump’s call for an increase Defense spending in FY 2018.

Many familiar wasteful projects made the list including: $495 million for the F-35, $475 million for the Littoral Combat Ship, and $16 million for the Abrams Tank.  These three programs have been continuously singled out by the Pentagon and government watchdogs as wasteful.

TPA President David Williams blasted appropriators for not fulfilling their pledge to ban earmarks and warned that taxpayers were getting tired of the same old tricks from Washington. “Even with the low disapproval ratings and total outrage from voters over the spending behavior of Washington politicians, it is shameful that this kind of excessive waste continues at the Pentagon, said Williams. “National Security is extremely crucial for the safety of all Americans and every dollar that is wasted on earmarks is money that is not going to protect our country and take care of our brave service members. It’s time for Congress to cut the waste and get back to regular order, no more excuses.” concluded Williams.

You can see the full list of the 406 earmarks here.