Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wire: Senate Overrides Pentagon, Keeps C-17 Funding Alive

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that the U.S. Senate on Wednesday kept alive funding for 10 Boeing-made C-17 cargo planes that the Pentagon has said it does not want.

The Senate rejected an effort by a vote of 64 to 34 to strip out $2.5 billion for the cargo planes from its $636 billion defense spending bill.

The House of Representatives has approved money for three of the planes in its version of the bill, which funds Pentagon operations for the fiscal year that starts on Thursday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the military has all of the C-17s it needs and that buying more of the jets could take money from areas needed to maintain combat readiness.

However, lawmakers stood firm on the C-17, which is manufactured in 43 U.S. states.

Reuters news service reported that Republican Senator John McCain, the sponsor of the measure to kill the funding, argued that his fellow lawmakers had taken money from the Pentagon's logistics and operations budget to satisfy a politically powerful defense contractor.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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