Thu, Jul 30, 2009
Measure Contains Money For Two Programs That Have
Drawn Veto Threats
The U.S. House Of Representatives Thursday passed a Defense
Appropriations Bill 400-30 which contains four programs
that President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have said
are a waste of taxpayer money.
The overwhelming vote may bee seen as a gauntlet thrown down in
defiance of a President who has said he would veto the bill over
two of the four programs in the bill.
Bloomberg reports that the measure includes $485 million to buy
the first five VH-71 Helicopters, $560 million for the F136
alternate engine for the F35 JSF, both of which have drawn specific
veto threats from the President. There is also $495 million for
nine Boeing Co. F-18E/F fighters, and $674 million to buy three
Boeing C-17 transport jets.
After the overwhelming vote in the House today, Predental
Spokesman Robert Gibbs reiterated that veto threat. While the bill
is a challenge to the President, it is far from the final word on
defense spending for the coming fiscal year. The Senate has yet to
pass a DOD appropriations bill. When they do, it will need to be
reconciled with the House bill before going for a final vote. There
are also separate authorization bills to be passed by both chambers
and reconciled. It is not unheard of for money to be appropriated
with no authorization to spend it.
The House did vote, by a much narrower margin, to strip $369
million from the bill for additional F-22 Raptors, the third
program that has drawn a veto threat from Obama. That vote was
269-165, and represents a victory for the President and Gates, who
had said the F-22 represented a cold-war fighter that had a
diminished role in modern warfare. The vote likely will end debate
over extending the F-22 program beyond 187 aircraft.
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