These are the remarks as prepared for delivery by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in a June 25 speech at The Heritage Foundation in Washington.
In 1980, I was elected to the U.S. Senate. During my early days in the Senate, I met a man who had a significant impact on my career. His name is Arthur Ernest Fitzgerald, but everybody calls him Ernie.
You’ve probably heard of him—Ernie’s reputation preceded him even way back then. In 1968, Ernie testified before Sen. William Proxmire’s Joint Economic Committee about the Air Force’s C-5 transport aircraft program. That testimony changed his life.
The C-5 aircraft was an important military priority. But it took longer and cost more than planned, and the government did not want anyone to know. Although he knew it might damage his career, Ernie told Congress that this prized program cost the taxpayers $2 billion more than the Pentagon would admit. $2 billion. That was in 1968. In today’s dollars that’s more than $14.5 billion.