Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Let them eat cake

This whole matter shows, I believe, Congress has become.

In this economic recession, with the "mood" of the people being pretty testy to say the least about spending; they want to purchase twice the requested number of private jets sought by the Pentagon.

They kill the F-22 Raptor, losing tens of thousands of jobs and potentially leaving the United States a little more vulnerable, they chastised the auto industry for flying in private jets, yet they didn't hesitate to do this.

BTW nice jet isn't it?

Congressional jets may be scrapped
By John Bresnahan - Politico

The new congressional jets may be getting scrapped.

After an uproar over a proposed purchase of new executive jets for use by senior government officials, including members of Congress, the top Defense appropriator in the House has offered to eliminate funding for the planes – but only if the Pentagon, which operates the jets, agrees.

“If the Department of Defense does not want these aircraft, they will be eliminated from the bill,” Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommitee said Monday evening.

Murtha was quick to point out that these jets, approved by the full House last month, were not additions to the current group of 24 executive aircraft already used for top officials, and were being purchased to replace older ones that have maintenance and safety issues.

And in his statement, Murtha basically put the blame on the Pentagon, whose spokesman has been quoted saying that the House Appropriations Committee added four executive jets beyond the Pentagon’s original request. The Defense Department originally requested $220 million for four jets – a total bumped to $550 million and eight jets by the committee.

“These aircraft will not increase the overall passenger aircraft fleet, but instead will replace older aircraft that have both safety and maintenance issues,” Murtha said. “In addition, these newer model aircraft cost significantly less to operate than the current aircraft.”

Murtha also needled the Pentagon a bit, saying that “85 percent” of the use of these aircraft comes from the executive branch, and not Congress.

Murtha’s move may end what has been an embarrassing uproar for House appropriators, who approved the Defense spending bill with no objection about the congressional jets. There is already a movement in the Senate to kill the funding for the aircraft.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said the funding “kind of makes me sick to my stomach,” and has vowed to kill it. Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), both senior members of the Armed Services Committee, have also voiced their opposition to the plan.

The rest of the story: