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 LevinA lesson on abuse of power by Obama and his Senate allies President Trump, listen to candidate Trump and keep Volcker Rule Republicans can learn from John McCain’s heroism MORE (D-Mich) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump's dangerous Guantánamo fixation will fuel fire for terrorists Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny Ad encourages GOP senator to vote 'no' on tax bill 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 ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party 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.