On Wednesday, Feb. 16, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut $3 billion in wasteful pork, known as the Joint Strike Fighter extra engine. It was an engine program that the military didn’t want or need, it would send American jobs to the U.K. and even Presidents Bush and Obama shared common ground on seeking the end of it.
As a corporate pilot with more than 40 years in the aviation industry, I am pleased by the leadership shown by the freshman class of Congress to stand up to the House leadership and kill the wasteful military aviation project. Fact is, Republicans John Boehner and Eric Cantor supported the extra engine because it brought pork back to their districts -- even while purporting to be fiscally conservative.
I’d like to specifically thank my representative, Tim Huelskamp, for his leadership and his vote to defund the engine. Not only does it speak well to his resolve to stick to his fiscally conservative guns, but for his independence from the toxic inside-the-beltway groupthink that has plagued Congress for years. Hopefully, the new crew in our nation’s capitol will continue to provide us not just the winds of change, but a breath of fresh air.

Gary Roper