BOND: C-17 WIN APPEARS IMMINENT

BOND: C-17 WIN
APPEARS IMMINENT

Senator
Continues Fight for Super Hornet

 

               WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit
Bond today cheered the news that a tentative agreement on the final troops
funding bill includes $2.2 billion to keep the C-17 airlift line in production. 
Since President Obama announced his decision to close our nation’s only large
airlift line, Bond has taken the lead in reversing this dangerous gamble with
our national security.

 

“Congress’ decision to reverse
the President’s dangerous budget gamble is great news and will ensure our
continued ability to transport our troops and equipment anywhere in the world,”
said
U.S.
Senator Kit Bond.  “When the Boeing Union workers were in my office last
month I told them not to give up hope – we were determined to restore funds for
the critical C-17.”

As senior members
of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senators Bond and Feinstein (D-CA) have
been working behind the scenes to ensure funds for the C-17 line would be
included in the final bill.  The troops funding bill is currently in the
House-Senate conference, of which Bond is a member.

 

Bond also worked
with Senator Boxer (D-CA) to secure the support of 17 of their Senate colleagues in
asking the Senate Appropriations Committee to include funding in the troops
funding bill for the highly successful C-17 program.  

 

Today, Senate
Appropriations Committee Chairman, Daniel Inouye (D-HI) announced that conferees
reached a tentative deal, which includes $2.2 billion for the C-17 in the final
fiscal year 2009 troops funding – or supplemental defense appropriations –
bill.  Inclusion of these funds will be a critical victory for Bond, Feinstein,
Boxer and other advocates of this essential cargo plane.  Bond has continued to
stress that eliminating our only large airlift line puts at risk our capability
to transport safely our troops and equipment to anywhere in the world and
threatens our domestic industrial base.  Before being signed into law, the final
bill must pass out of conference committee and both the House and Senate
chambers.

 

Also, earlier today
Bond continued his fight to restore funds to the Super Hornet, the backbone of
the Navy’s tactical air fighters.  At today’s hearing in the Senate
Defense Appropriations Committee the Senator took the Administration to task for
drastically underfunding the Super Hornet. 

 

Bond emphasized
that the President’s choice to underfund the Super Hornet and increase funds for
the Joint Strike Fighter or F-35 just doesn’t make national security or economic
sense right now.  The Senator pointed out that the drastically over-budget F-35
will not be ready on time and will result in a Navy fighter shortfall of 243
aircraft within the next decade – which means our Navy will have empty carrier
decks.  This decision gambles with our ability to project U.S. power from
aircraft carriers – our nation’s ability to deal with current and emerging
threats around the world.  Underfunding the Super Hornet also damages our
security in the long run by eroding our competitive domestic industrial base,
Bond pointed out. 

 

In addition to
bad national security policy, the decision to underfund the Super Hornet is also
bad economic policy.  Nationwide, the Super Hornet supports more than 110,000
American jobs in 1,400 companies in 44 states, including 4,000 jobs in St. Louis
alone. The President’s budget decision puts all of these jobs at
risk.

 

Bond is also one of
the F/A-18’s best advocates when it comes to our foreign allies.  In a meeting
later this week Bond will meet with members of the Brazilian Congress to urge
them to purchase the Super Hornet. 

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