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Fri, Feb 18, 2011

House Deals A Blow To The F136 Engine

Votes To Cancel The Alternate JSF Engine

Defense Secretary Robert Gates may have gotten his wish about the more conservative GOP majority in the House, which voted Wednesday to cancel the F136 engine program.

F136 Engine Testing

A group of first-time legislators, many associated with the Tea Party, broke with the more mainstream Republicans led by House Speaker John Boehner to vote for $16 billion in defense spending cuts, including the F136 engine. Boehner also agreed to deeper cuts in domestic spending to go along with the defense cuts. The amendment to cut the F136 engine was one of about 500 attached to a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September.

The New York Times reports that cutting the engine would save $450 million this year, and as much as $3 billion over the next few years.

But the vote also held along some traditional lines. Freshman Republicans from Indiana and Ohio joined Mr. Boehner in voting to keep funding in part because the program means jobs in their districts.

In all, 110 Republicans voted to de-fund the engine program, with 130 supporting it. 123 Democrats voted to kill the engine, and 68 wanted to keep it.

GE plans to lobby the Senate to restore the money for the program. Even if that should happen, it would have to survive a conference committee to make it back into the budget.



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