IBJNews

Defense spending bill leaves out Rolls-Royce jet

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A House panel on Tuesday unveiled a $649 billion defense spending bill for next year's Pentagon budget that funds the nation's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and wades into the long-running fight over the multibillion-dollar, next-generation jet fighter partly made by Roll-Royce Corp. in I.

The House Appropriations Committee bill would provide $119 billion for the two wars, $841 million more than President Barack Obama sought but $39 billion below the current amount. Americans combat forces are slated to leave Iraq at the end of the year and Obama is weighing the first round in the drawdown of the 100,000 troops in Afghanistan in July, with all combat forces scheduled to be out by 2014.

The legislation would provide $13 billion to train and equip Afghan security forces and $1.1 billion for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund, although 75 percent of the money would be withheld until the defense secretary reports to Congress on how the money would be spent.

The bill, which the defense subcommittee will consider on Wednesday, provides money for many of the programs spelled out in the defense blueprint approved overwhelmingly by the House last week. Lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee took similar action to place conditions on aid to the Pakistan fund as a frustrated Congress has questioned what Islamabad knew about terrorist leader Osama bin Laden's whereabouts after he was found deep inside Pakistan.

The bill would provide $530 billion in overall spending for the budget year beginning Oct. 1, an increase of $17 billion over the current year but $9 billion less than Obama sought. It provides the money for a 1.6 percent pay raise for military personnel and prevents the administration from spending any money to transfer terrorist suspects from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States.

"Despite being $9 billion below the request, this bill fulfills our obligation to the brave men and women who selflessly serve our country, as well as their families," said Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., chairman of the defense subcommittee. "My long-standing commitment is that we will not adversely affect any soldier or have an adverse effect on our nation's readiness."

Young said the committee made "sensible, rational reductions."

The committee rejected efforts by some in Congress to spend money on construction of an extra engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The bill includes no money for the extra engine. Neither Obama nor Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants the alternate engine, arguing that it's a waste of money in a time of tight budgets.

The Pentagon plans to buy engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter solely from Pratt & Whitney of Hartford, Conn. The department recently notified General Electric and Rolls Royce, which are working on the alternative in Ohio and Indiana, that it had terminated the contract. The companies said they would continue work on the alternative engine using their own money.

The crux of their argument is that forcing Pratt & Whitney to compete against them will produce more efficient, less expensive engines for the nearly 2,500 F-35 fighters the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps plan to buy and fly over the next 40 years. Eliminating the GE-Rolls Royce team gives Pratt & Whitney a "$100 billion monopoly" on the engines, according to the two companies.

The House defense blueprint tries to revive the extra engine, including a provision that would force the Pentagon to re-open competition if the department has to ask Congress for more money so Pratt & Whitney can build the chosen engine. The House appropriations committee provided no money for it, however.

Rolls-Royce has about 130 people, mostly engineers, working on the F-35 project in Plainfield and Indianapolis, spokesman George McLaren said.

About 2,500 jobs—mostly in Indiana and Ohio—are tied to development of the engine, and GE has said that figure was in line to nearly double if the project reached peak production.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT