Except when they aren't.
As you may recall, members of congress were pushing an extra engine for the F-35 Lightning fighter jet back in February which the Department of Defense doesn't need or want. An engine which is entirely unnecessary. An engine which Secretary of Defense Robert Gates advised President Obama to veto.
Gates has opposed the extra engine for years, saying it is unnecessary and a waste of money. But Congress has argued that funding a second engine model for the F-35 would keep defense contractors on their toes by forcing them to compete.
Gates has repeatedly threatened to advise President Obama to veto the entire defense bill if Congress pursues the second engine.
The original proposal was voted down, but congressional demand for another colossal serving of pork was resuscitated last night by the Republican-controlled Armed Services Committee.
Despite rhetoric about the imminent need to cut federal spending, the Republican-controlled House Armed Services Committee late last night approved a $700 billion military funding allocation for next year — the Pentagon’s largest budget ever — including a “lifeline” to the presumed-dead extra engine for F-35 fighter jet. [...]
Last night’s vote was a big “helping hand to Rolls-Royce and GE,” the lead contractors on the project — and they’ve earned it. The companies dispatched a small army of lobbyists from 13 different firms to the Capitol and have donated heavily to key lawmakers. GE gave $223,000 to members of the Armed Services Committee in the 2010 election cycle alone, including $8,500 to Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA).
See how serious the House Republicans are about reducing wasteful spending? They may even shut the government down if we don't begin starving the beast!