Wednesday, October 10, 2007
How Defense Appropriations Really Work
Just received a 'Washington Weekly' update on the latest and greatest in Air Force and military funding. If you really want to know how the Air Force gets funded, just read the highlights below.
-SA 3124. Lott. $4M for the Associate Intermodal Platform Pallet System. Adopted.
-SA 3125. Roberts. $1M for Materials Integrity Management Research. Adopted.
-SA 3136. Landrieu. $4M for 8th AF Cyberspace Innovation Center, Barksdale AFB. Adopted.
-SA 3163. Harkin. $5M for MSOGS into F-15C/D aircraft. Adopted.
In other words, each of these Senators have been 'advised' that these programs will take place in their own districts, which is why they are individually requesting funding for each program. If the Air Force hasn't schlepped for the funding, then the defense contractors in each state have 'advised' the Senators.
I remember when the C-130J came out years ago. The Air Force was against buying any, and even pleaded with Congress not to fund the program. Well, the Senators and Congressmen from Georgia (where the aircraft was built) did what the folks above are doing, going out of their way to acquire funding to pay for systems, even if the AF didn't want the C-130J.
This is still happening today. In this week's update:
"Unrequested Funding: The Administration strongly opposes the additional $480 million for the Joint Strike Fighter Alternate Engine Program. The Administration did not request funding to support this program."
They didn't ask for the funding, yet it's getting shoved down their throats.
I'm sure the programs I listed above are important, and the AF asked for that funding, but it's still unsettling that the only way to get things payed for around here is to beg and barter with Congressmen who's districts will benefit from the programs. Defense programs should be funded because they're important to our national security, not because they pad the wallets of special interests.
I know I know... what's that saying about "If a tree falls in a forest..."
The silence is deafening.
Back to my day job, schlepping for funds from the US and Iraq to rebuild the Iraqi Air Force.
posted by El Capitan at 2:32 AM
The amount of money wasted on congressional pet projects is mind boggling. Oh, Washington, what a city...
BTW, did you read Yon's latest dispatch? My God, that man knows how to write...
I am interested to see if I got approved to go into the Contracting career field.... Gotta check my mail but seeing how I can only do that at work now with the CAC thing.... *sigh*
Anyhow, part of my interview with the Chief was discussing the '$5000 hammer' idea. And ethics. Very interesting.
I learned a long time ago whenever a Congressional inquiry comes in to check their district for industries there. It lets you know their interest and what they are really asking.11:34 AM