A top Republican senator wants to know how the Pentagon ends up paying $10,000 for an airplane toilet seat cover.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, sent a letter last month after DefenseOne,com reported on the C-17 toilet covers, which can be 3D printed for $300, but which the Defense Department ends up shelling out $10,000 for.

“It seems to me that there is no way to justify a $10,000 price tag for a toilet seat lid. It’s just not credible,” Mr. Grassley said, asking the department’s inspector general to investigate.

In the DefenseOne piece Will Roper, an Air Force assistant secretary involved in acquisitions, described the $10,000 price tag.

He said while the actual cost of the toilet cover is relatively low, it’s not something a manufacturer regularly produces. So the company ends up halting other production to make the cover, and the government ends up paying the costs of lost production.

Mr. Grassley said the inspector general should have been on the case long ago, and he said he it “makes me wonder whether the DoD Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is asleep at the switch.”

Pentagon overspending is legendary in government circles....

During the Reagan administration a $640 C-5 toilet seat and a $435 hammer purchase became symbols of government bungling.

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