WASHINGTON – Congress
has cut off funding for a heavily criticized military
plane being developed by a La Jolla-based aerospace
company with $63 million in taxpayer money, most of it put
into funding legislation over the past two decades by Rep.
The cutoff comes two months after the plane, the DP-2,
was excoriated at a congressional hearing as a boondoggle
pushed on the Pentagon by Hunter, R-Alpine, even though it
has never passed a major technical review in 20 years of
At the June hearing, Hunter defended the plane, saying
“the idea around here that if the Pentagon doesn't come up
with something, that if the services don't like it, you're
not going to build it, is ridiculous.”
Hunter has received $36,000 in campaign contributions
from Anthony duPont, president of duPont Aerospace, the
company developing the plane at a facility in El Cajon.
The cutoff of funds might be the death knell for the
project, duPont said.
But Hunter remains optimistic.
“Congressman Hunter continues to support the program,
and DP-2 funding could very well be revisited in the next
budget cycle,” said spokesman Joe Kasper.
Hunter had sought $6 million for the project next year.