Obama threatens veto if F-22 funded

In an unusual move, President Obama sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee vowing to veto any defense bill that funds more Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jets.

Obama threw down the gauntlet as the Senate took up the 2010 defense authorization bill. The firm commitment to veto any defense bill containing funding for the F-22 puts Obama in a tough position: he would veto bills written by a Democratic Congress.

ADVERTISEMENT
The letter to Sens. Carl LevinCarl LevinA package proposal for repatriation Silencing of Warren another example of hyperpartisan Senate GOP going nuclear over Gorsuch might destroy filibuster forever MORE (D-Mich) and John McCainJohn McCainTrump fires opening salvo in budget wars Overnight Finance: Trump budget to boost military, slash nondefense spending | Senate confirms Commerce pick | House Intel chief won't subpoena tax returns Overnight Defense: Trump proposes 3B defense budget | Defense hawks say proposal falls short | Pentagon to probe Yemen raid MORE (R-Ariz.) comes as the two senators introduced an amendment to strip $1.75 billion for seven additional F-22s from the Pentagon policy bill.

“...I will veto any bill that supports acquisition of F-22s beyond the 187 already funded by Congress,” Obama wrote on Monday. The Obama administration wants to cap the F-22 fleet at 187 aircraft.

The Senate could face a close vote on whether to strip the money from the defense authorization bill. Sen. Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (R-Ga.) won narrow support for an amendment to authorize funds for more F-22s when the Armed Services Committee marked up the bill last month. Levin and McCain opposed it at the time.