Heated Exchange

In a heated exchange on Thursday with Alan Estevez, President Obama’s choice to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) angrily ruffled his papers and threw his pencil as he tried to emphasize his frustration over what he described as continued delays and cost overruns in the F-35 strike fighter program. “Can you tell us there will be no further cost overruns borne by the federal government?” asked McCain during the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Feb. 28 hearing to consider Estevez’s nomination. “I could not possibly do that, senator,” replied Estevez, who then emphasized the program’s recent restructuring. McCain added, “Well, if I sound frustrated . . . it’s because I am. This committee has been tracking this program for many years. We’ve had witness after witness. We’ve had promise after promise. We’ve had commitment after commitment, and yet, the only thing that has remained constant is that Lockheed [Martin] has earned a 7 percent profit since the program began.” Click here to continue to the full report.