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Press Release

Nation’s Oldest Taxpayer Group Applauds Defense Secretary’s Order to Halt Development of Wasteful Second F-35 Engine

For Immediate Release March 25, 2011

By Douglas Kellogg

(Alexandria, VA) – The 362,000 member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) today strongly supported the decision by the Department of Defense to issue a “stop-work” order on the alternate engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter. The unnecessary project wastes $1 million per day, according to the Department of Defense, and has cost taxpayers $3 billion thus far.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has previously attempted to put an end to the program. Now, continued pressure from Senators, and the recent House vote to cease funding for the program, may finally have created the momentum to shut down further development of the second F-35 engine. The “stop-work” order lasts for 90 days, by which time Congress will have made a final determination on the project.

NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp said: “Overburdened taxpayers are welcoming the Defense Department’s sensible decision as another major step toward strengthening the fiscal integrity of the F-35 program. The stop-work order recognizes the reality that a growing consensus in Congress understands that an alternate engine carries more risks than rewards for taxpayers."

“It is a rare occasion indeed when so many policymakers in both the executive and legislative branches can agree that the time has come to end a low-priority program,” Sepp concluded.

NTU has been a staunch opponent of the second engine for the F-35, due to the costs and lack of purpose.

The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. More information on NTU’s work is available at