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Pig fight! In response to Senator Richard Shelby’s (R-Alabama) effort, with the lobbying aid of ULA, to slip an amendment into a budget bill that would allow ULA to use Russian engines in its Atlas 5 indefinitely, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has written a scathing letter condemning the effort.
In a Nov. 19 letter, McCain asked Cochran to “respect the well-informed work my committee took” and to avoid the “year-over-year relitigation” of the engine issue.“Recent attempts by the incumbent contractor to manufacture a crisis by prematurely diminishing its stockpile of engines purchased prior to the Russian invasion of Crimea should be viewed with skepticism and scrutinized heavily,” McCain wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by SpaceNews. “Such efforts should not be misconstrued as a compelling reason to undermine any sanctions on Russia while they occupy Crimea, destabilize Ukraine, bolster Assad in Syria, send weapons to Iran and violate the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.”
McCain is no saint when it comes to pork, even if he is right on this issue. Shelby however is and has always been a pork pig. He has always put the needs of local companies ahead of the needs of the country. This story illustrates this perfectly.