At this point, I'd like to address the ongoing debate over the JSF extra engine. As most of you know, the president and I -- and the previous president and his secretary of defense -- as well as the department's senior military leadership have consistently and firmly expressed our opposition to continuing this costly program. We consider it an unnecessary and extravagant expense, particularly during a period of fiscal contraction.
The Congress has not spoken with one voice on this matter. And the department has been operating this fiscal year under ambiguous guidance at best.
Under those circumstances, I decided to continue funding the JSF extra engine effort on a month-to-month basis. I did this not because we had to, but because we chose to give Congress the opportunity to resolve this matter as a part of its ongoing debate of the budget.
However, this also means the American taxpayers are spending $28 million a month for an excess and unjustified program that is slated for termination. The president, military services, and I continue to oppose this extra engine, and when the current C.R. expires, I will look at all available legal options to close down this program. It would be a waste of nearly $3 billion in a time of economic distress, and the money is needed for higher-priority defense efforts.