CCAGW to President Obama: “Keep Your Promise on MEADS”

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2013


Contact:  Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), released a letter to President Obama calling for him to end funding for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) past the current fiscal year (FY).  MEADS is a Department of Defense missile program plagued by delays and lack of performance.  The letter reads as follows:

“Dear Mr. President:

“As you finalize your budget for FY 2014, I am writing on behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of CCAGW to respectfully request that you adhere to your commitment to discontinue funding for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), whose troubles have been well-documented.

“MEADS was intended to replace the Patriot missile system, but the program has been plagued with cost overruns of nearly $2 billion and is 10 years behind schedule.  A March 9, 2010 Washington Post report quoted an internal U.S. Army memo asserting that the program ‘will not meet U.S. requirements or address the current and emerging threat without extensive and costly modifications.’  There are no plans to ever build a single missile.  As Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) stated, ‘We feel strongly that it’s a waste of money.’

“With ongoing questions about the continued viability of the program, three out of the four congressional defense authorization and appropriations committees zeroed out funding for MEADS for FY 2013.  Unfortunately, the current continuing resolution (CR), which funds the federal government through March 27, 2013, includes $190 million for MEADS.  The taxpayers’ frustration with that decision was partially mitigated when you signed into law the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which eliminated funding for MEADS.  While CCAGW will be urging Congress to eliminate any further funding in the upcoming CR for the remainder of FY 2013, you will be sending a strong message in regard to MEADS by omitting any funding in your FY 2014 budget.

“With the battle over sequestration enveloping the nation’s capital, it has become clear that many in Washington consider defense spending a sacred cow, and that any defense cuts jeopardize national security.  Close examination of the defense budget shows that this just is not true.  Many programs, particularly MEADS, could be eliminated without endangering national security.

“I strongly urge you to stay the course by ending this wasteful program.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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