According to a January 29, 2010 article in the Boston Globe, the fight over the alternate engine is about to start all over again. According to the Globe:
The Pentagon’s budget request for fiscal year 2011, due out Monday, will try yet again to eliminate the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the costly effort repeatedly funded at the insistence of Bay State lawmakers looking out for jobs at General Electric’s Lynn plant.
This news comes only weeks after Congress was successful in anonymously adding $465,000,000 to the F136 alternate engine program in the Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
As you can see in the preceding quote, the paper does not pull punches as to who it blames for the alternate engine funds. The Globe also names names:
In December, Democratic Sen. John Kerry and Rep. John Tierney, a Democrat of Salem, lauded the reversal as safeguarding as many as 1,000 jobs at GE’s plant, which is helping to design the engine to compete with the primary one built by Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney.
According to a November 10, 2009 Reuters article, deliveries of the F136 alternate engine will be delayed by one year. Built by General Electric and Rolls-Royce, the alternate engine program has had two major setbacks in as many months. In October, F136 testing was halted when a nut came loose, damaging turbine blades in the engine. The project, which has received $771.8 million in earmarks since 2004, is expensive, unnecessary, and only survives because of pork-barrel politics.
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) made the case against the alternate engine in an issue brief released in September. In addition, for the past several months, CAGW has been raising awareness of the inherent waste of the program through a national advertising campaign that began on July 16, as well as communications to its members and supporters.