Lawmakers Say Uncle on F-22

The House’s version of the Fiscal 2010 defense appropriations bill, approved overwhelmingly by the chamber yesterday, contains no funding for additional F-22 Raptors beyond 187 airframes. The move is one more step in securing a victory for the White House in its efforts to quash continued production of the stealth fighter. House appropriators had followed in the footsteps of their House authorizer counterparts by adding $369 million in their markup of the bill for advanced procurement of parts and materials for 12 F-22s that would be assembled starting in Fiscal 2011. But with the Senate’s action last week to strip additional F-22 funding from its version of the defense authorization bill, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chair of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, withdrew his support for more F-22 production and said he would work to remove the $369 million for Raptor production from the House appropriations bill and apply it instead to the existing F-22 fleet and other priorities. He succeeded. (For more, see yesterday’s Associated Press report and Reuters news wire service report.)