Another House Victory for Backers of F-22 Funding

Posted on July 16, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Defying a veto threat from President Obama, the House Appropriation Defense subcommittee has voted to invest $369 million next year on parts to build 12 more F-22 Raptor fighter jets.
The funding level for fiscal 2010, which begins Oct. 1, is the same included in a separate authorization bill that already has passed the House.
The action comes as the Senate heads toward a crucial floor vote next week on plans to authorize $1.75 billion for seven more of the radar-evading F-22s.
Designed as a successor to the F-15A, the F-22 is the world’s most advanced fighter. It is faster, can fly higher, and has better stealth capabilities than any other fighter. The Air Force has stated repeatedly that ending the program at 187 planes would threaten U.S. air dominance.
Defense Secretary William Gates has proposed ending production of the F-22 at 187 planes, though Air Force and Air National Guard brass have said a minimum of 250 are needed. President Obama said again this week he will veto any measures that would continue the F-22 program.
While the Pentagon says jobs are not part of its procurement calculations, ending production of the F-22 would cost 25,000 direct and 75,000 indirect jobs at 1,000 vendors in 44 states. Unions representing steelworkers, machinists and other workers have urged continued funding for the fighter.
The Hill reports Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee, acknowledged the President’s veto threat and said if there are not enough votes for an override: “We’ll have to back down on the damn thing.”
Murtha said he hopes to convince the White House to at least agree to advance procurement to keep spare parts producers and subcontractors alive to be able to provide materials in case there will be more F-22s

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