Friday, June 26, 2009

Chambliss, Isakson Statement on Administration’s F-22 Veto Threat

Senate Armed Services Defense Authorization Bill Includes Funding for Seven Additional F-22s

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today made the following statements regarding the administration’s veto threat over funding for additional F-22s:

"In the past several months, Air Force leaders have consistently stated before Congress and to the media that they have a requirement for additional F-22s beyond the 187 that have already been purchased. Repeatedly, military leaders have confirmed that the decision to limit funding to 187 planes is driven by budgetary decisions, not military requirements,” said Chambliss. “It is regrettable that the administration needs to issue a veto threat for funding intended to meet a real national security requirement that has been consistently confirmed by our uniformed military leaders.”

“The federal government must tighten its belt in these tough economic times just as Americans have to do, but we must also maintain a strong national defense in order to protect our country,” Isakson said. “The F-22A is the most sophisticated fighter jet in the world with the latest stealth technology to reduce detection by radar. This plane is vital to 21st century American military superiority and provides a priceless service to our Armed Services. The administration needs to seriously consider the ramifications of vetoing legislation that authorizes funding for our military men and women and their families as well as critical military construction projects.”

Today the Senate Armed Services Committee voted the Defense Authorization bill out of committee, which includes an amendment offered by Chambliss that fully funds seven additional F-22s. The bill now goes before the full Senate for consideration.

"Regarding the Senate Armed Services Committee's authorization for seven additional F-22s, I am pleased that a majority of my colleagues chose to support my initiative to fund these aircraft. Our debate and vote took place with full awareness of the administration’s veto threat, and the result of the vote speaks for itself,” said Chambliss. "I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the committee and with the leadership of the Air Force and the Department of Defense to ensure that our nation's military requirements are met."

“Thanks to the work of Senator Chambliss, the F-22 still has a fighting chance,” Isakson said. “I’m pleased the majority of the Senate Armed Services Committee recognizes that continued production of this aircraft is essential to both our national security as well as the many local economies and thousands of workers that would be devastated as a result of these cuts.”
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