First the Senate, Now the House

Yesterday, we reported that nearly half of all Senators have called on the new Administration to continue production of the F-22. Today, in a similar display of strong bipartisan support, we note that a group of nearly half of all House members, led by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), has done the same. In a Jan. 21 letter, 191 House members (by our count), including senior members of the defense oversight committees, urge the new President to keep building the stealth fighters while the Defense Department undertakes a more in-depth analysis of the F-22 requirement in the context of the national security issues that will be examined in the forthcoming quadrennial defense review. “Continued F-22 production is critical to the security of our nation,” states the letter. The 183 F-22s procured to date are “insufficient to meet potential threats,” the House members write. Because of this as well as the Raptor’s “model production line” that would be extremely difficult to reconstitute once halted and the high-quality jobs sustained by the aircraft’s “vital industrial base,” they ask Obama to certify “expeditiously” that continued F-22 production is in the economic and national security interests of the nation. The President is required by a provision in the Fiscal 2009 defense authorization act to inform Congress by March 1 if he intends to keep buying F-22s or close the production line. (For more, read Gingrey’s release.)