Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wire: Obama Threatens Veto of Defense Budget Bill Over F-22, F-35

Off the Wire

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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Blogger Seattleite said...

I'm sure some people will call this left-wing military budget cuts, but the way I see it, Obama is just backing up his SecDef.

9:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a left wing conspiracy, it's more basic than that.

It would appear that some Democrats in the House, where all government spending is originated, simply want to take care of their special interests back home, i.e., defense contractors involved in the jet programs.

While Democrats and the media made a lot of commotion about this kind of thing before 2006, after the takeover of Congress by Democrats, no one seems to want to talk about pandering to special interests, unless of course, it is to blame Bush or Republicans in a presidential campaign.

It's bogus.

The short point here is that presidents cannot spend a dime that has not been first originated in the House and approved by Congress.

8:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Steven Moyer said...

I believe Sen. Saxby Chanbliss was the one instrumental in pushing through provisions for seven F-22s. Chambliss is a Republican from Georgia.

There are reportedly 95,000 jobs directly or indirectly tied to F-22 production. Some would argue that keeping the F-22 would save more jobs than the administration's so-called stimulus bill has been able to create. These would be real saved jobs, unlike the unmeasurable ones the president likes to talk about.

On the other hand, the Pentagon decided to draw a finish line for the programs.

Since it is a developing story, I'll have more news about these issues in a later post.

9:07 AM EDT  

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