Conference between the House and Senate on the defense authorization bill, with hate bill attached, ended today. Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. John McCain announced that the compromise bill includes funding for the development of additional F-35 fighter engines (eventually costing about $100 billion). Asked whether this would tempt a presidential veto, Levin said he did not think so because of accommodations to Obama in the bill that would trim extra spending. McCain said he did not know.
Rev. Ted Pike
National Prayer Network
October 8, 2009
|Hate bill attached to defense legislation Obama may or may not veto.|
The considerations Levin referred to included elimination of a new fleet of C-17 cargo transports as well as a presidential helicopter fleet. Also, initial funds to be provided General Electric-Rolls Royce for development of the engines are only a reported $560 million. Levin hopes such limited initial spending will persuade Obama that extra engines will not threaten his request for purchase of as many F-35 fighters as possible. Obama says extra F-35 engines mean fewer fighters.
On the other hand, since F-35 engine production is by far the largest expenditure to which Obama objects, it is open to question whether the President will be appeased. He has stated repeatedly, emphatically, that he will not tolerate a $100 billion expenditure on engine development he thinks unnecessary.
Levin must be disappointed. He was a major architect of the Senate decision this spring to strip off F-22 Raptor production, as well as F-35 engine production, from the Senate version of the defense bill. Liberals did so to avoid a veto and protect the attached federal hate crimes bill. Levin said that (largely for the sake of the hate bill) the Senate would “not send a defense authorization bill to the President that he is likely to veto.”
Yet that is exactly what conference may have done.
Soon, this bill will go to both Senate and House for approval. If approved, it will go to the President, for either veto or signing, possibly as early as the end of next week.
Is there anything lovers of freedom can do in this very short time to insure its veto? Absolutely!
We must hold Obama to his oft-repeated promise to veto extra F-35 engine production. We must let him know that many, many Americans are aware of that promise. We need to bombard the White House NOW with this message: “Mr. President, we expect you to keep your promise to veto any military authorization bill that wastes $100 billion of taxpayers’ money on unnecessary F-35 jet engines.”
Since the defense/hate bill could be on Obama’s desk in a few days, we have just enough time to get our letters to him — if we act immediately. White House phones and faxes remain very busy, so write the President TODAY at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500. You may also contact the President by email at www.whitehouse.gov/contact.
We know that Obama is not a man of his word. But, like all politicians wanting to remain in office, he is aware of the need to protect his image. The more that voters remind him of his promise, the greater will be the possibility he will pull back his pen from signing the defense/hate bill and send it back to Congress.