Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) its August 2012 Porkers of the Month for including a $380 million earmark for the wasteful and widely-criticized Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee’s version of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Department of Defense (DOD) spending bill. The earmark was included in the bill despite being rejected by the House Armed Services Committee, the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Senate Committee on Armed Services (SCAS).
The senators’ smarmy move comes on the heels of a letter from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging further funding for MEADS, which is being developed jointly with Germany and Italy. Sec. Panetta stated that cancelling the program would “negatively affect allied willingness to join future cooperative endeavors, [and] likely would lead to a dispute with Germany and Italy, both of which have indicated that they would assert that the United States has unilaterally withdrawn from the [Memorandum of Understanding] (MOU).”