Hurt Responds to Tea Party Complaint

February 18, 2011

The Jefferson Area Tea Party issued a statement Friday expressing its disappointment in Fifth District Congressman Robert Hurt's decision to not vote to cut the "unnecessary funding of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine."

Chairwoman Carole Thorpe explained:

"This program richly deserves the national scorn it receives as the pinnacle of irresponsibly wasteful spending and a microcosm of everything that is wrong in Washington, D.C. It is a boondoggle that the Pentagon, President Bush and President Obama have fought to eliminate but is kept alive by pork barrel politics. The justification given by Congressman Hurt and other advocates of the alternate engine program is that is "fiscally responsible" to continue funneling money into it now in order to chase later savings that will hopefully be created by competition.

The undeniable truth is that we are in a fiscal crisis that no longer affords us this kind of luxury. We thought Congressman Hurt understood this. Our government must act swiftly to sharply cut spending or America faces certain economic collapse.

Congressman Hurt was not the lone offender in Virginia. It is equally disturbing that the other ten representatives of our state voted unanimously with him. All Virginians should be appalled that, in this instance, pork knows no partisanship when all believe they can make a political gain.

Despite his regrettable vote on this issue, we remain optimistic that Congressman Hurt can be an effective advocate for constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and liberty. We lauded him for keeping his promise to vote to repeal Obamacare and we expect that he will make the tough choices, more often than not, to cut government spending. Sadly, this was one of the easier choices to make and he blew it. We hope that this misguided decision is a unique occurrence."

The communication director for Robert Hurt sent CBS19 the following response.

"Robert’s opposition to the Rooney Amendment was a vote to prevent a devastating $100 billion monopoly to a single-source contractor that would have driven up costs for Central and Southside Virginians. Robert’s vote against the Amendment was one to strengthen the fundamental free market principle of competition and save taxpayers in the 5th District as much as $21 billion,” said Amanda Henneberg, Spokesman for Robert Hurt.

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