Gates Welcomes House Vote Against Extra F-35 Engine

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2011 — Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates today wel­comed the full House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives vote to kill the extra engine for the F-35 joint strike fight­er, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary Geoff Mor­rell said.
The House vot­ed 233–199 to strip funds for the engine from the fis­cal 2011 defense spend­ing bill.

“Sec­re­tary Gates wel­comes today’s vote and is grat­i­fied that the full House has rec­og­nized the mer­its of the department’s posi­tion in oppos­ing the JSF extra engine,” Mor­rell said.

“He under­stands this afternoon’s vote is but one step, although a very impor­tant one, on the path to ensur­ing that we stop spend­ing lim­it­ed dol­lars on unwant­ed and unneed­ed defense pro­grams.” The bill still must go to the Sen­ate, where fund­ing for the engine could be added back.

Gen­er­al Elec­tric and Rolls Royce are build­ing the engine. In 2005, then-Pres­i­dent George W. Bush and then-Defense Sec­re­tary Don­ald H. Rums­feld opposed the extra engine. In a state­ment issued May 28, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma promised to veto any leg­is­la­tion that pro­vid­ed funds for the extra engine.

Gates has said he will use every legal means to ter­mi­nate the extra engine pro­gram, which he said is cost­ing tax­pay­ers $28 mil­lion a month.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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