WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2011 — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today welcomed the full House of Representatives vote to kill the extra engine for the F‑35 joint strike fighter, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.
The House voted 233–199 to strip funds for the engine from the fiscal 2011 defense spending bill.
“Secretary Gates welcomes today’s vote and is gratified that the full House has recognized the merits of the department’s position in opposing the JSF extra engine,” Morrell said.
“He understands this afternoon’s vote is but one step, although a very important one, on the path to ensuring that we stop spending limited dollars on unwanted and unneeded defense programs.” The bill still must go to the Senate, where funding for the engine could be added back.
General Electric and Rolls Royce are building the engine. In 2005, then-President George W. Bush and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld opposed the extra engine. In a statement issued May 28, President Barack Obama promised to veto any legislation that provided funds for the extra engine.
Gates has said he will use every legal means to terminate the extra engine program, which he said is costing taxpayers $28 million a month.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)