Power Centers

House Votes To Kill Controversial F-35 Jet Fighter Engine

In an action likely to have defense-industry lobbyists quaking in their highly polished shoes all over Washington, the U.S. House voted Wednesday to kill the contract to build an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

As I wrote earlier, the engine built by GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio, wasn't wanted by the White House and Pentagon.

Actually, not all lobbyists will be dispirited by this news. Pratt & Whitney makes the engine the GE engine was designed to replace. The vote moves P&W's Connecticut workers one step closer towards greater job security.

The GE engine had powerful allies, including Speaker John Boehner whose Ohio congressional district is adjacent to Evendale. Boehner had argued that the new engine would actually save money in the long run.

As they have amply made clear already, however, many of the 87 new freshman Republicans swept into Congress in last year's wave election, weren't kidding when they campaigned on cutting federal deficits and debt.

Their numbers, along with many Democrats, helped defeat funding for the engine program, pegged at $450 million this year and $3 billion over several years. The vote was 233 to 198 for an amendment to kill funding.

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