A bipartisan group of House members called on their colleagues to join them in voting for an amendment Tuesday to cut funds for a second engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter from this year's defense budget.
"It's a luxury we can't afford," said Rep Tom Rooney, R-Fla. The second engine is expected to cost $435 million this year.
"President Bush and President Obama tried to get rid of this engine that no one wants," said Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.
While the executive branch and the Department of Defense are opposed to the program, it does have several high profile supporters. Chief among them House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, whose district stands to benefit from the production of the second engine. House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., is also a supporter of the plan and has spoken in support of it in the past.
House freshman Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., noted that his colleagues didn't care who supported the plan, continuing his class's independent streak.
"We're not going to agree with leadership in every case," Griffin said. The important thing about the second engine in his mind is that the nation needs to get its fiscal house in order, and he says the F-35 plan is unaffordable.