TPA Uncovers $11 Billion in Earmarks in Defense Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this week, the House released their initial markup for the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations Act that will spend more than $500 billion. TPA combed through the report and found 235 earmarks totaling $11.1 billion (click here to see the full list) that were not requested by the Pentagon and inserted by members of Congress. These earmarks show that Congress’ self-imposed earmark ban is nothing more than a lie to taxpayers.
There were many familiar wasteful projects on the list, including the F-35, the Littoral Combat Ship, and the Abrams Tank. All of these programs have been notorious for their waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars and have not been requested by the Pentagon.
One of the most egregious items earmarked is $384 million for an extra Littoral Combat Ship. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), "GAO suggests Congress delay funding for fiscal year 2016 LCS until the Navy submits a completed rough water trials report, acquisition strategy, and backlit plan; and consider not fully funding some or all LCS procurement pending analysis of these documents and the final survivability assessments.” The GAO report further stated that, "The vulnerability of the ship’s hull to various sea conditions also remains unknown… Due to the dynamic nature of waves, the Navy cannot rely on modeling and simulation alone to provide an accurate assessment of a ship’s performance in rough seas.”
TPA President David Williams blasted House appropriators in a statement released today. “Once again Congress is abdicating their duty to represent the interests of taxpayers and all Americans by disregarding the needs of the Pentagon in favor of pet projects that represent the worst kinds of wasteful spending,” said Williams. “The United States cannot continue to throw away money on failed weapons programs that don’t protect our national security while continuing to add to our national debt,” concluded Williams.