"In January, 44 senators sent Obama a letter urging him to continue production of the F-22. The letter argues that the program could provide thousands of jobs at a time when manufacturers are shedding factory jobs at a rapid clip because of the recession. Roughly 200 House members also wrote to Obama asking him to build more planes."
You know that each of these traitors have subassembly plants in their districts, right?
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon spokesman said Friday the military must tighten its budget belt by looking at ways to share equipment and services instead of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines each paying for its own.
To that end, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell signaled that requests to build more F-22 fighter jets could be one area facing cuts.
The Obama administration is expected to decide by March 1 whether to spend $523 million on 20 more of the radar-evading stealth planes beyond 183 that are already planned — one of the first major defense spending decisions of the new presidency.
Lawmakers fear that ending F-22 spending would result in thousands of lost jobs during the global recession that began last year.
But Pentagon leaders, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, have expressed doubt that more F-22s are needed, especially since the military plans to buy several thousand F-35s, a much cheaper plane.
Morrell said the issue of F-22s was being weighed amid ongoing Pentagon budget talks "both financially and in terms of balancing capabilities and risk."
"We need to make hard choices in this economic climate, particularly with regards to programs that are having trouble being executed," Morrell told reporters at a Pentagon briefing Friday. "We need to look for cost efficiencies."
Earlier this week, Gates said the Pentagon has not yet decided on the F-22 spending, calling it "one of the programs that, along with a number of others — many others — that we will be looking at."
Lockheed Martin Corp., the defense contractor building the F-22, has warned that thousands of jobs would be lost if President Barack Obama decides to end funding for the advanced but costly plane. Lockheed estimates about 95,000 people, at 1,000 suppliers, are working on the F-22 contract.
In January, 44 senators sent Obama a letter urging him to continue production of the F-22. The letter argues that the program could provide thousands of jobs at a time when manufacturers are shedding factory jobs at a rapid clip because of the recession. Roughly 200 House members also wrote to Obama asking him to build more planes.
Additionally, the Air Force has pushed for production of F-22s to reach 381 total aircraft. Lockheed says the F-22 is needed for aerial combat and would be used for potential future threats from nations like China and Russia.
Morrell, the Pentagon spokesman, said Congress already cut the military's budget request in a $787 billion economic recovery package from $10 billion to $7.4 billion. Gates met Friday with his top military commanders from around the world to discuss the 2010 budget.