Wire: Obama Threatens Veto of Defense Budget Bill Over F-22, F-35
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, June 25, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that the U.S. House of Representatives was set to approve on Thursday a $550.4 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 2010 that has drawn a veto threat from President Barack Obama because it contains money for fighter jets he does not want.
The bill also authorizes $130 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fiscal year that begins October 1.
The Reuters news service reported that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said it supported the overall bill but the president's senior advisers would recommend a veto unless some provisions were dropped.
The OMB said it strongly objected to the House decision to include $369 million in advanced procurement funds to buy 12 more F-22 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp despite a Pentagon decision to halt production at 187.
The administration also objected to House lawmakers adding $603 million to the bill to continue work on an alternate F-35 fighter engine being built by General Electric Co and Rolls-Royce Group Plc.
The OMB said the changes would delay the fielding of the F-35 and have an adverse effect on the Pentagon's overall strike fighter inventory, Reuters said.
Update: The Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday agreed to authorize funding for seven more F-22 jets.
This is a developing story.
(Report from newswire sources.)
Source: House nears vote on $550.4 billion defense bill
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