WASHINGTON – The Senate voted to terminate further production of the Air Force’s topline F-22 fighter jets Tuesday, giving President Barack Obama a major spending victory and siding with the Pentagon’s desire for smaller jets better suited to 21st century wars.
F-22 supporters complained the action would be a blow to long-term national defense — and cost thousands of jobs in the middle of the recession.
The 58-40 vote to cut the money from a $680 billion defense bill was a hard-fought victory for Obama, who had threatened to veto defense spending legislation if it included funds for more F-22s. Wavering lawmakers heard repeatedly from Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other senior administration officials.
The vote was “a signal that we are not going to continue to build weapons systems with cost overruns which outlive their requirements for defending this nation,” declared Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who joined Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin in arguing for cutting off production. READ MORE HERE: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_defense_spending
A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft participating in Northern Edge 2009 executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) while the ship is underway in the Gulf of Alaska on June 22, 2009. The visual effect is created by moisture trapped between crests in a sound wave at or near the moment a jet goes supersonic. Credit: DoD/Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Dejarnett, U.S. Navy