Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Senate votes to end F-22 production

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 5:25 PM

From the New York Times:

The Senate voted 58-40 on Tuesday to strip $1.75 billion for seven more F-22 fighters from a military spending bill, handing President Obama a crucial victory in his efforts to reshape the military’s priorities.  

The victory came after the president had placed his political capital on the line by repeatedly threatening to veto the $679.8 billion spending bill if it included any money for the planes.

The F-22, the world’s most advanced fighter, had become a flashpoint in a larger battle over the administration’s push to shift more of the Pentagon’s resources from conventional warfare to fighting insurgencies.

The plane’s supporters, who ranged from hawkish Republicans to Democrats close to organized labor, also voiced concern over the possible loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs at a time when the economy is in turmoil.

Georgia U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, both Republicans, had urged colleagues not to cut funding for the fighter jets, which according to the Times, have never been used in war. The plane's final assembly is conducted in the Peach State. A Lockheed-Martin spokesman tells CL simply, "We will support the U.S. government's final decision on the F-22 program."

(Courtesy Lockheed-Martin)

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