The Senate decision to strike funding for completion of the F-22 fleet is a step in the wrong direction, as is the argument that the House should follow suit.

The original House provision authorizing $369 million to buy parts for a dozen planes provides a rational approach to the F-22 issue in that it keeps the production line open. Once the production line is shut down, our country’s hands are tied. We can not just ramp up production overnight if we need more fighters.

The F-22 is the nation’s most capable fighter and the world’s only operational fifth generation fighter aircraft in full-rate production. It is critical to our national security. I will continue urging my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to push to retain this funding in conference.