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.

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The letter to Sens. Carl LevinCarl LevinTrump and GOP wise to keep tax reform and infrastructure separate Former senator investigated man in Trump Jr. meeting for money laundering Dems abuse yet another Senate tradition to block Trump's agenda MORE (D-Mich) and John McCainJohn McCainMcCain votes to advance ObamaCare repeal, replace after vowing to oppose Overnight Defense: House passes Russia sanctions deal | McCain returns to Senate | Watchdog opens criminal probe into M camo mistake Tough road ahead for McConnell on ObamaCare 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 ChamblissFormer GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party GOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race 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.