Senate vote on F-22 spending put off for a day

My AJC colleague Bob Keefe called a few minutes ago from his perch in the U.S. Senate, to say that a vote on increased spending for the Marietta-built F-22 will probably be delayed until Tuesday morning.

Supporters of the effort to cap such spending wanted a vote today, but debate on amendments to an all-encompassing defense bill will fill the remainder of the Senate’s calendar.

Here’s how Congressional Quarterly couched it:

The F-22 vote will be preceded by a series of votes pertaining to hate crimes and one on an amendment by John Thune, R-S.D., that would allow citizens with permits to carry concealed firearms in their home states to carry the weapons to other states that permit concealed weapons.

There is no time limit on the Thune amendment. If the debate runs long, a vote on the F-22 could be delayed until Tuesday, aides said.

Whenever the F-22 vote occurs, it will mark only the beginning of what should be a week of debate, and maybe more, on the defense policy bill. Up for consideration are scores of amendments on a variety of topics, including the size of the Army and military aid to Pakistan.

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8 comments Add your comment

BHO: My Viewpoint

July 20th, 2009
9:40 pm

Billions for ACORN but not a penny for defense.

Also, there is no basis for self-defense in one’s home. Blast the Second Amendment!

REEDER

July 20th, 2009
9:56 pm

Jeesh, BHO. Do you really know anything about any of this? You lost me at ACORN.

Vandy

July 20th, 2009
10:18 pm

A multi-billion dollar boondoggle that can’t stand the rain. Vote it down.

Just Human

July 20th, 2009
11:08 pm

LOL…just mention ACORN and you must be right…idiots.

Conservative

July 21st, 2009
6:36 am

Listen to the Generals not the LOBBYIST, end this waste of taxpayer money.

Good News

July 21st, 2009
6:55 am

With a vote set for high noon on Tuesday, the political tide in the Senate has shifted to now favor the White House and Pentagon in their pivotal fight to strike new procurement funds for the F-22 fighter.

Just last week, conventional wisdom held that the $1.75 billion authorization would easily survive a challenge on the floor. But fearful of embarrassing President Barack Obama, Democrats appear to be moving back toward the White House, which has mounted its own late-breaking campaign to win the last votes.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is the public point man for the administration, making calls to senators and delivering a toughly worded speech last week in Chicago. But as the political stakes have become more evident, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has also begun working the phones, and Vice President Joe Biden last week even called his old friend, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), an ardent F-22 backer.

It’s a fight some Democrats would argue that Obama was foolish to make, raising the stakes unnecessarily with early veto threats. But the F-22 termination is Gates’s signature issue in changing the Pentagon budget. Once committed, the prospect of a loss became more and more intolerable for Democrats, threatening to hurt the president’s standing at a time when he is already slipping in some polls and faces a difficult fight over health care reform.

A key vote could be Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D., Mass.), a past F-22 backer who spoke with the Gates Monday. Kerry’s press office had no comment Monday night, but there has been speculation in the Massachusetts delegation that he may shift his position on the weapon system.

Lockheed Martin, the chief contractor, has stayed out of the fracas, in part because it also has a stake in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in which Gates wants to invest billions. But industry officials said there has been a clear shift in tone in recent days, and while the vote remains very close, Obama is now the favorite to prevail.

Republican undecideds are also crucial in what is a bipartisan fight on both sides of the issue. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and the committee’s ranking Republican, Arizona Sen. John McCain, are the chief advocates for striking the F-22 funds. Matched against them and the president are Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), whose home state has a major stake in the production of engines for the costly fighter.

South Ga. GOP

July 21st, 2009
6:57 am

TRUTH

July 21st, 2009
7:54 am

At the Pentagon, Gates said Monday that claims of job losses as a result of ending F-22 production are a misnomer. Instead, ending the F-22 in favor of ramping up production of the Joint Strike Fighter, he said, will create jobs by fiscal year 2011, “if we don’t drain money away from” the new program