Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have set aside almost half a billion dollars over the past two years to spend on upgrading the military’s Abrams tank, a move which senior Army officials are not very excited about. Army officials reportedly said “No thanks,” to the government‘s choice to spend $436 million on the tanks, but it happened anyway.
The tanks are important because the Abrams production line helps businesses and creates good paying jobs in areas that have political significance. Ohio is home to the country’s only tank plant and it’s probably no coincidence that state lawmakers are in favor of spending heavily on Abrams tanks. Rep. Jim Jordan, Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown were all in favor of investing in the tanks, ABC News reported.
They say that national security is their main focus. "The one area where we are supposed to spend taxpayer money is in defense of the country," said Jordan.
The money was going to get spent, whether the Army wanted it or not. "If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way," said Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army's chief of staff.
"When an institution as risk averse as the Defense Department says they have enough tanks, we can probably believe them," said the director of research for nonpartisan group Citizens Against Government Waste, Sean Kennedy. He thinks that Congress should have listened to the Army and not insisted on spending so much money on the tanks.