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Washington, D.C. – Calling General Electric an “opportunistic parasite feeding on the expansion of government,” activists with the Free Enterprise Project of the National Center for Public Policy Research are calling on the public to sign a petition calling on GE CEO Jeff Immelt to resign.

The petition can be found at

On Tuesday, the House Defense Appropriations Committee in an 11-5 vote approved $450 million earmark for a backup engine designed by General Electric and Rolls-Royce for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The jet engine funding was part of the $681.8 billion spending bill approved by the committee.

President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates opposed the funding of the secondary engine over budget concerns; Gates believes funding a backup engine is a waste of money. The Pentagon chose an engine made by Pratt & Whitney to power the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“GE’s success in getting the House panel to vote for its jet engine illustrates its dominance over the legislative process. Under GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s leadership, GE has become an opportunistic parasite feeding on the expansion of government,” said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project.

In addition to its lobbying success with the jet engine, GE pushed for President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan and the company is working hard to pass cap-and-trade legislation and a renewable energy standard in the Senate. GE stands to benefit from government subsidies for its wind turbines and solar energy products and from its utility customers that received smart-grid grants.

“Recent news stories about the demise of cap-and-trade legislation may be greatly exaggerated. President Obama recently expressed an interest in pursuing climate change legislation and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the House cap-and-trade provisions could be merged with a Senate energy bill during a conference committee,” said Borelli.

“GE lobbyists will be swarming over the last-minute push for cap-and-trade. Immelt’s business strategy to profit from an expansion of government is in direct conflict with liberty-loving Tea Party activists who want to rein in spending and stop cap-and-trade. GE’s actions demonstrate that advocates for limited government and fiscal responsibility can’t ignore the risk posed by CEOs such as Immelt,” added Borelli.

Stopping cap-and-trade remains a high priority for Tea Party members. It’s at the top of the list in the Contract From America, a policy agenda for Congress put together by Tea Party activists nationwide.

“To address the threat to limited government brought about by GE we have a petition that calls for Immelt to resign. It’s time that ‘We the People’ send a strong message that citizen patriots will tackle CEOs as well as big-spending elected officials,” said Borelli.

The petition can be found at

The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, and receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.