Slashing Defense Dept. Earmarks Could Save $100 Billion, McCain Says

November 16, 2010

(ChattahBox U.S. News)—-Doing away with expensive pet projects could breathe new life into the budget of the Defense Department, Sen. John McCain told a foreign policy forum yesterday. McCain was supporting Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s goal of cutting $100 billion from the defense budget over the next five years when he referred to several costly programs that could end up bleeding money from defense programs if they aren’t cut soon, the New York Times reports.

For instance, McCain said, the cost of a planned F-35 fighter jet program has doubled and is projected to cost the U.S. $382 billion, which McCain flatly renounced. Although McCain supports savings in the Defense Dept. budget, he also plans to ensure that those cuts don’t affect troops already fighting overseas, the Times reports.

Rep. Howard McKeon, the expected incoming chair of the House Armed Services Committee, echoed McCain’s comments when he reiterated that defense cuts could be appropriate but that they should not impact the current conflicts, noting that any budget reduction “amidst two wars is a red line for me and should be a red line for all Americans,” the Times notes.


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