F136 Survives House Vote

An amendment introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) late Thursday on the House floor to strip funding for the F-35 strike fighter’s competitive engine program in next year’s defense policy bill failed by a vote of 193 to 231, thereby breathing new life into the lawmakers fight to keep the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine program alive over Pentagon objections. Pingree, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers who favor going forward solely with Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine, wanted to strike the $485 million that the House Armed Services Committee added May 19 to the Fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill for the F136. However, the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to the committee summary issued Friday afternoon, did not include F136 money in its markup of the bill, which means defense authorizers will have to decide the F136’s fate in conference. (See AFP report, Reuters report)