Discontinue funding for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Discontinue funding for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).

Letters to Officials

March 18, 2013

U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator:
You will soon consider the continuing resolution (CR) for the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2013.  On behalf of the millions of members of the undersigned organizations, we urge you to support Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s (R-N.H.) amendment to discontinue funding for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).

The problems with MEADS have been well-documented.  The program, which was intended to replace the Patriot missile system, has been plagued with cost overruns of nearly $2 billion and is 10 years behind schedule.  A March 2011 Congressional Budget Office report recommended terminating MEADS in favor of continued production and upgrading of the Patriot missile system.

For several years, officials at DOD have stated that cancelling MEADS was prohibitive without agreement from the U.S.’ partners, Germany and Italy, because of high unilateral termination costs.  They argued that the cost of cancellation made it necessary to continue funding the program.

However, recent assertions that FY 2013 funding should be used for termination costs are without merit.  A confidential DOD report to Congress obtained by CCAGW concluded that the U.S. can withdraw from the contract without committing additional money or paying termination fees.  The report cites language in the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding among the three countries stating that activities related to MEADS were subject to “the availability of funds appropriated for such purposes.”  The DOD interprets this to mean that, if Congress fails to appropriate funding for MEADS, the U.S. can extricate itself from the program without penalty.

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 CR, which funds the federal government through March 27, 2013, includes $380 million for MEADS.  Sen. Ayotte’s amendment would zero out this funding and redistribute $205 million for operations and maintenance.  Although our organizations would prefer that this money go toward deficit reduction, MEADS funding should still be eliminated.

Finishing the procurement phase of MEADS would cost taxpayers an additional $16.5 billion, which is further reason to end funding for the program now.  We strongly urge you to support Sen. Ayotte’s amendment to eliminate funding for MEADS

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz

President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste                        

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Mattie Duppler
Executive Director, Cost of Government Center

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