What: All Issues : War & Peace : Military Spending, General : (H.R. 1) On an amendment eliminating $450 million in funding for an alternative engine for the F-35 fighter jet. This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs. (2011 house Roll Call 46)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 1) On an amendment eliminating $450 million in funding for an alternative engine for the F-35 fighter jet. This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
house Roll Call 46     Feb 16, 2011
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This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) eliminating $450 million in funding for an alternative engine for the F-35 fighter jet. This program had been widely criticized as wasteful. (Among others, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was a prominent critic of the alternative engine.) This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Rooney urged support for his amendment: “I rise today in support of my amendment striking funding for an extra engine for the F-35 fighter jet to immediately save the American taxpayers $450 million. It is dubious why Congress continues to fund a program that the Air Force, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Department of Defense adamantly state they do not want. Just today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the program ``an unnecessary and extravagant expense'' and stated that this money is needed for higher priority defense efforts. As we decide which cuts to make in our defense, ones that won't hurt our troops today, this should be at the top of the list….I urge my colleagues to follow through with their promises, to listen to the voters as to why they sent us here, and to vote to strike the funding for this expensive and unnecessary program.”

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) urged opposition to the amendment, arguing that adding a second engine would improve military readiness and save taxpayers money through increased competition among contractors: “…There are many of us who serve on the Armed Services Committee who have a little different view than does the Pentagon on this subject. So what are the benefits of the second engine?... First of all, it is the sense of security. You've got basically an aircraft now that is going to be serving the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Air Force. All of our services will be dependent on this one aircraft, which is the Joint Strike Fighter. That particular Joint Strike Fighter [currently] has one engine…Certainly, the competition is another good point. You save a lot of money. If you've got two different contractors bidding against each other, we're going to get a good price on the engines, and that's going to be important, particularly year in and year out.”

The House agreed to this amendment by a vote of 233-198. Voting “yea” were 123 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 110 Republicans. 130 Republicans and 68 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment eliminating $450 million in funding for an alternative engine for the F-35 fighter jet.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss