Senate Appropriators Pass Spending Bill

On Sept. 10, the full Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously agreed with the Fiscal 2010 defense spending bill proposed by its defense panel, which opted to add funds for 10 additional C-17s and kill the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine. Although the Senate appropriations bill contains no funds to continue production of the F-22 fighter—also killed in House spending bill—the lawmakers did include a provision to push forward with an export version, urging USAF to “start this effort” within funds appropriated for continued F-22 RDT&E. CongressDaily reports that a Senate aide calls this “a good next step,” toward removing the Obey amendment that prohibits F-22 export. (Conference report)