Small "c" Conservative
The Senate Appropriations Committee reports that the F-35 testing program is coming along nicely.
Dan Grazier at The American Conservative:
Despite warnings of poor performance and spiraling costs from at least three oversight agencies, both Congressional armed services committees voted to add new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to the president’s appropriations request and approved a three-year block buy.
The final number has yet to be hashed out, but if the Senate gets its way, taxpayers will buy 94 F-35s in 2018. That would mean more than 800 F-35s would be purchased before the design has been fully tested.
Congress’s actions here are disappointing. What is even more disturbing is the justification provided for those actions in the House. (The Senate language is not yet available.) Buried deep within Rep. Mac Thornberry’s (R-Texas) “Chairman’s Mark” of the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), is a lengthy rationalization of the F-35 double-down plan. The authors of the offending appendix include lots of details, but they failed to give a complete picture. The full story, of course, would have undermined the current appeal for digging farther into the F-35 hole.