Concerns Addressed During Speech Aboard The U.S.S. Yorktown
A pair of Republican congressmen from South Carolina said Thursday that sequestration could threaten the deployment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Shaw Air force Base and Beaufort Marine Air Station in the state.
The two visited the U.S.S. Yorktown museum Thursday. The Associated Press reports that Congressman Tim Scott (R-SC-01) said that the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts known as sequestration is "a greater obstacle to the F-35 than any fifth generation (fighter) plane competition from China or Russia.”
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC-02) said that "it all depends on the election." He said GOP nominee Mitt Romney would be better able to lead an "orderly process to figure out what to do about sequestration" should he be elected President in November.
The Obama administration has told contractors it would cover costs for legal issues that might stem from layoffs associated with the automatic spending cuts.
Prime contractor Lockheed Martin had set up an F-35 simulator aboard the aircraft carrier museum for the event. Both lawmakers took advantage of the opportunity to fly the sim. LMC says it expects to reach full production of about 200 F-35s per year in 2019.