Senate Votes on Bayh, Lieberman F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Defense Amendments

An amendment offered by Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390) has been adopted by Voice Vote.

The amendment states that none of the funds “authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be obligated or expended for the development or procurement of an alternate propulsion system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program” until the Secretary of Defense submits to the congressional defense committees a certification in writing that the development and procurement of the alternate propulsion system:

(1) will–

(A) reduce the total life-cycle costs of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program; and

(B) improve the operational readiness of the fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft; and

(2) will not–

(A) disrupt the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program during the research, development, and procurement phases of the program; or

(B) result in the procurement of fewer F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft during the life cycle of the program.

It also restores the following funds:

(c) Restoration of Management Reserves for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.–

(1) NAVY JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER.–The amount authorized to be appropriated by section 201(a)(2) for research, development, test, and evaluation for the Navy is hereby increased by $78,000,000, with the amount of the increase to be allocated to amounts available for the Joint Strike Fighter program (PE # 0604800N) for management reserves.

(2) AIR FORCE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER.–The amount authorized to be appropriated by section 201(a)(3) for research, development, test, and evaluation for the Air Force is hereby increased by $78,000,000, with the amount of the increase to be allocated to amounts available for the Joint Strike Fighter program (PE # 0604800F) for management reserves.

(d) Offsets.–

(1) NAVY JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER F136 DEVELOPMENT.–The amount authorized to be appropriated by section 201(a)(2) for research, development, test, and evaluation for the Navy is hereby decreased by $219,450,000, with the amount of the decrease to be derived from amounts available for the Joint Strike Fighter (PE # 0604800N) for F136 development.

(2) AIR FORCE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER F136 DEVELOPMENT.–The amount authorized to be appropriated by section 201(a)(3) for research, development, test, and evaluation for the Air Force is hereby decreased by $219,450,000, with the amount of the decrease to be derived from amounts available for the Joint Strike Fighter (PE # 0604800F) for F136 development.

Meanwhile, a separate amendment offered by Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390) has been defeated by a vote of 38 to 59.

The amendment “restores authorization for Marine Corps helicopters and alternative engines for the F-35 strike fighter,” according to C-SPAN.  Basically, it would have restored the funds barred by the Lieberman amendment discussed above.

More from CQ:

The Senate rejected 38-59 a competing amendment by Evan Bayh , D-Ind., to withhold 10 percent of the funding for the F-35 unless sufficient money has been made available to continue development of an alternate engine. Bayh’s amendment would pay for the engine by decreasing by $439 million the authorization for C-130 transport planes for special operations forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bayh said the planes were already funded by the latest war supplemental spending measure.

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1 Comment

Filed under Defense

One response to “Senate Votes on Bayh, Lieberman F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Defense Amendments

  1. Robert Mentzer

    History has shown that competition in aircraft engine programs significantly reduces cost, while improving safety, reliability and contractor responsiveness. That’s why Congress has already invested $2.5 billion USD in the F136 engine, equaling 70% of the total development costs. The F136 engine is nearly complete and with continued funding, the F136 competitive engine will deliver benefits to taxpayers and our armed forces for the next 30 years. I strongly suggest that completing the F136 engine program is in the best interest of the country.

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