U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) praised today's announcement from Florida Governor Rick Scott and United Technologies Corp. Chairman and CEO Louis Chenevert that Pratt & Whitney will expand its manufacturing capabilities in West Palm Beach, creating 230 new jobs. The announcement follows years of bipartisan efforts led by Rooney to end the wasteful extra engine program for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and focus funds on the original, Pratt engine.
"Bringing these high-paying, high-skills jobs back to Palm Beach County means so much to me personally," Rooney said. "Growing up in Palm Beach Gardens, many of my friends' moms and dads worked for Pratt & Whitney, and it was very difficult on our community to lose those jobs when portions of their production line moved out of Florida. When I got to Congress, I made it a priority to get these jobs back.
"I'm proud that our efforts have finally paid off -- by striking the wasteful extra engine, we've not only saved taxpayers billions of dollars, but we've also helped lay the groundwork to create much-needed jobs in Palm Beach County," Rooney said.
Dave Hess, President of Pratt & Whitney, said, "Congressman Rooney was a true champion in the fight to eliminate billions of dollars in wasteful spending that the Department of Defense did not want or need. It is because of his efforts that Pratt and Whitney has been able to strengthen its position on the Joint Strike Fighter in building the most advanced tactical fighter engine in the world."
In 2011 the House of Representatives approved a bipartisan amendment authored by Rooney to strike funding for the extra engine program for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Rooney amendment saved taxpayers approximately $3 billion, while focusing funds on the original engine, made by Pratt & Whitney.
"This was a bipartisan effort over many years, and it goes to show what can be accomplished if we put partisanship aside and go to work for the betterment of our community and our country," Rooney said.