Sen. Carper Pushes To Cut Costly F-22 Planes From Defense Bill

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement hailing the passage today of the Levin-McCain amendment (S. 1390), a measure to stop funding for seven more F-22 fighter planes. The senator strongly supported the amendment because of the F-22’s high price tag, its absence in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the insistence of our top military leaders that our existing aircraft inventory is sufficient to meet top national security needs.
Sen. Carper worked hard in recent weeks to rally enough Senate support to pass the Levin-McCain amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (S.1390), including giving a major speech on the Senate floor late last week. The amendment, which passed 58-40, prevents authorization of $1.75 billion in new funding to build seven more F-22s.
Sen. Carper said:        
“Months ago, the President promised to go through the budget, line-by-line, to eliminate federal programs that waste taxpayer dollars. Today, the majority of my colleagues joined me in making sure that promise became a reality by refusing to buy more F-22s.
“Buying more F-22s has become a luxury we can no longer afford, especially since we are building 2,400 F-35s, which are a more versatile aircraft and are half the cost of the F-22s.
“The truth is that, in this economy, we cannot afford to buy an aircraft—at $191 million per plane—that has not flown a single mission in Iraq or Afghanistan and that our top military leaders say we do not need.”
“The passage of this amendment paves the way for Congress and the Administration to continue to restore responsibility to our defense budgets and to make the best use of taxpayers’ money.”