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Policy Letter

POGO and Taxpayers for Common Sense Call on Senate to Cut F-22 from Defense Authorization Act

Dear Senator,

The undersigned groups urge you to eliminate funding for seven unneeded F-22 Raptor fighter jets from the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010.

The addition of these F-22s demonstrates not only wasteful spending that serves parochial interests but irresponsible, smoke and mirrors budgeting. Just as our national security strategy is based upon anticipating probable threats, our defense budget must also rely upon realistic sources of future income.

We are particularly concerned by recent media reports indicating that funding for the F-22 will rely on anticipated savings from defense procurement reform,[1] even though the Congressional Budget Office has said there is no basis for determining these savings.[2] Other sources report that the money will also take hundreds of millions from operations and maintenance accounts, a common budgeting gimmick that directly impacts our soldiers in the field.[3]

Additionally, we are dismayed by proposals to pay for F-22s by taking $146 million from the Joint Strike Fighter's management reserve fund.[4] This fund, which has historically experienced shortfalls, is needed to address any unexpected issues in the program,[5] and removing money may disrupt the Joint Strike Fighter's development. Both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Air Force have stressed that the Joint Strike Fighter program is critical to our national security, and both support ending F-22 procurement at 187 planes.[6]

In a June 24 Statement of Administration Policy, the President's advisers said they would be forced to recommend a veto if the National Defense Authorization Act includes advance procurement of the F-22 or spending that would seriously disrupt the Joint Strike Fighter program.[7] Procurement of additional F-22s does not serve our national security needs and jeopardizes the Department of Defense's higher priorities. We ask you to take a stand against wasteful and irresponsible spending and support amendments that will delete this funding from the 2010 defense authorization bill.


Danielle Brian

Project On Government Oversight

Ryan Alexander

Taxpayers For Common Sense

1. John T. Bennett, "U.S. Senate Plan for More F-22s Relies on Unspent Money," Defense News, July 6, 2009.

2. Congressional Budget Office, "S. 454 Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009," May 6, 2009, p.1,; Congressional Budget Office, "H.R. 2101 Weapons Acquisition System Reform Through Enhancing Technical Knowledge and Oversight Act," May 11, 2009, p.1,

3. John T. Bennett, "U.S. Senate Plan for More F-22s Relies on Unspent Money," Defense News, July 6, 2009.

4. Senate Armed Services Committee, "Senate Armed Services Committee Completes Markup of National Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2010," June 26, 2009, p. 16,

5. Government Accountability Office, "Joint Strike Fighter: Recent Decisions by DOD Add to Program Risks," March 2008, p. 3,

6. Department of Defense, "Defense Budget Recommendation Statement," April 6, 2009,; and Michael Donley and Norton Schwartz, "Moving Beyond F-22," Washington Post, April 13, 2009,

7. Office of Management and Budget, "Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2647 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010," June 24, 2009, p. 1,