IBJNews

Senate bill doesn't fund Rolls-Royce jet engine

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

As President Barack Obama weighs major shifts in strategy in the deteriorating mission in Afghanistan, the Senate on Tuesday passed a bill bringing the total U.S. tab for that war to about $300 billion.

The $626 billion measure, passed 93-7, also would ban outright any transfer of accused enemy combatants from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility into the United States. Current law permits transfer of detainees to face trial or go to prison.

The measure holds potential bad news for Indianapolis engine maker Rolls-Royce because it does not contain funding for a key jet engine the company produces, but lawmakers are expected to restore funding when the Senate and House combine bills into a final version.

Rolls-Royce, part of London-based Rolls-Royce Group PLC, is the region's second-largest manufacturer, behind Eli Lilly and Co., with about 4,300 local employees.

The underlying bill combines $128 billion for overseas military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, with $498 billion for the rest of the Defense Department's budget. An analysis by congressional researchers puts the tally for Afghanistan at about $300 billion and for Iraq at more than $700 billion since Sept. 11, 2001 — totaling more than $1 trillion.

This winter, Obama approved 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan, which would bring the total number of U.S. forces there to 68,000 by the end of the year. The Pentagon bill approved Tuesday funds that deployment.

The bill must now be reconciled with a measure that passed the House this summer and will then be presented to Obama for his signature.

Besides Guantanamo, the most controversial issues to be resolved in House-Senate talks may involve efforts by House lawmakers to skirt a promise by Obama to veto the legislation for funding over-budget replacement helicopters for the presidential fleet. Obama has issued a weaker threat to veto efforts to keep funding a program to develop a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force's major new weapons system.

The measure does, however, give Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates a partial victory in their drive to kill off weapons systems that are behind schedule and over budget.

The Senate bill, for instance, follows Obama's push to kill the F-22 air-to-air combat fighter and the VH-71 replacement presidential helicopter. And it does not contain money for the second engine for the F-35 fighter, which would be built by General Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce in Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere. The main F-35 engine is built in Connecticut by Pratt & Whitney.

The House bill contains $560 million for the alternative engine. The White House issued a squishy veto threat, saying Obama would kill the bill if it would "seriously disrupt the F-35 program." It's widely expected that the final House-Senate measure will include funds for the second engine.

Obama and Gates have staked their prestige on killing several over-budget weapons systems, especially the F-22, which has its origins in the Cold War era and is poorly suited for anti-insurgent battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But in twin victories for the Boeing Co., the Senate measure includes $2.5 billion to fund 10 C-17 cargo planes assembled in Long Beach, Calif., which were not requested, and $512 million for nine more F-18 Navy fighters than Obama requested. They would be assembled in St. Louis.

A White House position paper on the bill says the administration "strongly objects" to the decision for additional C-17s, but that fell far short of the veto threats that have been the key to killing the F-22 program and the much-criticized presidential helicopter.

An effort by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Tuesday to kill the additional C-17s failed by a 30-68 vote.

On Afghanistan, Obama is weighing a request from Gen. Stanley McChrystal for as many as 40,000 additional troops. The request is being met with skepticism from many lawmakers in Obama's party and would eventually need separate funding in a future war appropriations bill.

The measure would bring to more than $1 trillion approved by Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the latest analysis by the Congressional Research Service.

And there's also ample skepticism in Congress that Obama's Iraq and Afghanistan funding request will be sufficient to last the entire 2010 budget year, which began Oct. 1. A key lawmaker, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., predicts that additional money will be needed next spring.

The Senate's strict language on Guantanamo meant that the chamber avoided a difficult floor fight. The companion House bill would permit transfer of Guantanamo prisoners for trial or imprisonment after a two-month delay and an assessment of the risks.

But just last week, the White House was on the losing end of a lopsided vote to ban all transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S., and it looks increasingly unlikely that the administration will be able to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by January as Obama has promised.

The measure also contains $2.7 billion worth of pet projects sought by senators, commonly known as "earmarks," including funding for-profit companies to develop new technologies. The Senate by voice vote rejected a bid by McCain to require earmarked for-profit companies to be subject to competitive bidding, in keeping with reforms instituted by the House.

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. Hello Dear Are you tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages,have you Been Turned down constantly By your banks and Other Financial Institutions or Micro Finance scheme. This is let you know with 100% guarantee that we Offer loans ranging from $1,000 Minimum to $1,000,000.00 Maximum at 3% interest rate per Month. We give out LOANS for developing business. a competitive edge/business expansion. email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com We offer the following kinds of loans and many more; * Personal Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Business Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Consolidation Loan * Combination Loan * Home Improvement * Xmas Loans for contact to seek for loan email this email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com Thanks

  2. My name is Mr Henry Josh and i live in the USA California and life is worth living right now for me and my family and all this is because of one man sent by GOD to help me and my family, i once had a life filled with sorrow because my first SON needed a kidney transplant and all our savings were going towards his medications and this normally leaves us with no money to pay our bills or even put enough food on our table and our rent was due and no funds to pay these bills and life felt so unfair to me and every night my wife will cry herself to sleep every night until one day, i was browsing through yahoo answers and i saw a striking advert of a man that gives out personal loans and that the offer is opened to all and i have heard so many things about internet scams but at this point of my life, i was very desperate and ready to take any risk and at the end of the day, i applied for this loan and from one step to another, i got my loan within 12 hours through bank transfer and you know, it was all like a dream and i called Mr Daniel Jones A Man who is the GOD sent lender i found and said, i have received my loan and he smiled stating that to GOD be the glory and i was so shocked as i have never ever seen anyone with such a GOD fearing and kind heart and today, i am the happiest man on earth because by GOD’S grace, my SON kidney transplant was successful and today he is healthy, i and my family are living very comfortable and happy and if you are in my former situation or in serious and legitimate need of a loan, you can reach this GOD sent lender via fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

  3. Greetings to everyone reading this comment!!! I am Greg William by name. I am out here to recommend the effort of Mark Oscar,I was in need of a consolidation loan amount of 50,000 and as soon as I got in contact with Mark Oscar Loan Firm on Wednesday last week and on Friday last week as well I receive an alert from my bank(Royal Bank of Scotland Group) that the fund was transferred,I want everybody on this site to contact Mark Oscar now via email on how to get a loan because I got my loan from them and I am very happy,so contact them now. Oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com Thanks!!!!!!

  4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

  5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!

ADVERTISEMENT