Last April, Defense Secretary Robert Gates recommended capping production of the F-22 Raptor at 187 planes. Gates said the move was part of a series of changes in defense spending that he called “no-brainers.” (The F-22 has never seen action in either Iraq or Afghanistan.) Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee “threw a wrench in the Obama administration’s plans to end” the F-22 program, voting 31-30 on a measure marking up the Defense Department spending bill that would “add $369 million in extra funding to keep production of the Air Force’s most advanced jet alive.” Six Democrats — Reps. Jim Marshall (GA), Joe Courtney (CT), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ), Eric Massa (NY), Bobby Bright (AL), and Mike McIntyre (NC) — joined 25 Republicans in voting for the amendment. The Wall Street Journal reports that “the extra money would be a boost for Lockheed [Martin’s] Marietta, Ga., production facility” which is in Marshall’s home state.
Watch the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s video on Congress’s relationship with the F-22: