Obama tried to kill it, but John Kerry insists on building an engine this plan does not need and the air force does not want.
WASHINGTON - Massachusetts lawmakers, over the fierce objections of the White House, have succeeded in reviving a costly plan to build a jet fighter engine at General Electric’s Lynn plant in an effort to protect thousands of Bay State jobs.
When President Obama urged Congress earlier this year to cancel a series of major weapons programs deemed no longer needed, he specifically cited the effort to build a backup engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
“We’re going to save money by eliminating unnecessary defense programs that do nothing to keep us safe - but rather prevent us from spending money on what does keep us safe,’’ Obama said in May. “One example is a $465 million program to build an alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. The engine it has works. The Pentagon does not want - and does not plan to use - the alternate version.’’
But while Congress was ultimately persuaded to adopt most of Obama’s proposed weapons cuts - including canceling the F-22 fighter program - the GE program was rescued with the aid of several Massachusetts lawmakers who lobbied behind the scenes. It marked the fourth year in a row that Bay State lawmakers joined other lawmakers with GE jobs in their states to save the project from the Pentagon’s budget ax.
- Oh and this was one of those reconciliation committee shenanigans that got the funding put back in.