Senate OKs $470 billion Defense Spending Bill:

The Senate on Sept. 7 approved a $469.7 billion 2007 defense appropriations bill, including $65.5 billion in supplemental appropriations. The basic total comes to some $9 billion less than the Administration request. As with the House version, the Senate bill fully funds Air Force purchases of 20 F-22As, 12 C-17s, and nine C-130Js. The Senate undercuts the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, delaying production by one year to establish greater design maturity. It would also delay procurement on the Army-Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft to allow time for better requirements definition between the two services. And, like the House, it provides funds to purchase three replacement C-17s. Differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill are to be worked out during conference.