To the Conference Mat

The Senate passed its version of the Fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill—sans more F-22s and sans F-35 alternate engine—late July 23, setting the stage next week for House and Senate authorizers to hash out differences between the version passed by the House last month. The Senate version would authorize $679.8 billion, just $4 billion shy of the Administration request. The House version, which still contains additional F-22 Raptors and the alternate engine for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, would authorize a total of $680.4 billion. Both policy bills include $130 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.