Murtha Is Concerned About Future

In his July 30 summary of the just-completed markup of the 2009 defense spending bill, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, said his panel had “added and redistributed funds that will prepare our military for future threats and future conflicts.” He is in the so-called “next-war-itis” camp. The panel’s markup actually is $4 billion less than the Administration request, but it provides full funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (including restoring funds for the controversial alternate engine) and boosts funding for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance efforts and advance procurement of the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite. The panel would also fully fund 20 F-22 Raptors, as requested by the Administration and provide $523 million for advance procurement of another 20 Raptors, which USAF had requested in its unfunded requirements list, to keep the production line going. (Read more on the F-22 in Going Head-to-Head)