Wed, Jul 15, 2009
Wants The Senate To Cut $1.75 Billion From The Bill
President Obama is insistent that
he will veto the Defense Department Authorization Bill unless
Senators remove nearly $2 billion earmarked for the purchase of 7
additional F-22 Raptors. The Lockheed Martin-built plane is the
most expensive jet fighter ever built, and represents 25,000 jobs
in 44 states.
Democratic Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy have both
expressed their support for the plane, saying that continuing the
program would mean saving thousands of high-paying jobs. President
Obama knows that losing this fight with a Democratically controlled
congress would be an embarrassment to him, and has drawn a line in
the sand on the Raptor.
The New York Times reports that congress has agreed with the
President in cutting programs like missile defense, but that
support for the F-22 has increased on the Hill in recent weeks.
While the Pentagon says it would prefer to buy UAV's for
reconnaissance and pick up the pace on the F-35 JSF, many
Republicans in congress say the additional F-22's are needed for
more traditional enemies like China. And, the Times reports, more
Democrats are questioning why the administration would cut so many
jobs in the F-22 program when it is spend trillions in stimulus
money to create jobs elsewhere.
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 13-11 last month to
restore funding for the additional aircraft, but Committee leaders
Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) have filed an amendment to
strike the funding for the additional F-22's. In a letter to Mr.
McCain on Monday, Mr. Obama wrote that Pentagon leaders “do
not need these planes.”
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