Machinists Help Secure Bipartisan Support for F-35 Program

The IAM recently helped secure bipartisan congressional support for continued investment in the F-35 program. The funding is part of the Fiscal Year 2021 defense authorization and appropriations bills. The Defense Department’s budget request had called for less investment in the F-35 program.

The bipartisan letter, led by U.S. Reps. John Larson (D-CT), Martha Roby (R-AL), Michael Turner (R-OH) and Marc Veasey (D-TX) was sent to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Armed Services Committee and the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The letter received more than 130 bipartisan signatures.

“The F-35 is the most advanced fighter in the world and is exceeding operational expectations,” reads the letter. “The three U.S. services and our allies are now flying more than 500 aircraft at 23 locations around the world. The program is beginning to show maturity and warrants continued support.”

The full letter can be read here.

“I am proud of the lobbying efforts of our IAM Legislative Department and IAM members who work on the F-35 program,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “This program results in an annual economic impact on the U.S. of over $49 billion supporting more than 254,000 direct and indirect American jobs at approximately 1,800 suppliers across the nation.”