By Tim Starks
The Project on Government Oversight has issued something of report card on the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. The group likes some things the House did, but not others.
In the bad column: almost $6 billion in funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which hasn’t had a great June; and refueling of the nuclear-powered U.S.S. George Washington aircraft carrier, touted by potential Republican presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
In the good column: a halt to funding for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund, the money for which has been hard to track; an amendment that blocked funding for unused facilities; and an amendment that blocked the retirement of the A-10 Warthog, which provides close air support to ground troops.
The Obama administration has tried to eliminate the A-10 as a cost-savings measure, but POGO national security policy analyst Ethan Rosenkranz pointed to its cost-effectiveness in relation to the F-35, among other advantages. Another group that seeks to combat wasteful spending was more on the fence about the A-10 retirement proposal. (Of note: The A-10 amendment does not account for the spending gap created by preserving the A-10.)
POGO also found fault with the House going along with the placeholder figure for the war-related Overseas Contingency Operations account. A fuller proposal is expected to hit Capitol Hill Thursday.