HOUSE REBUFFS BOEHNER, SCRAPS F-35 JET ENGINE PROGRAM…. Following up on an earlier item, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) asked for a few billion dollars to build a jet engine for the Pentagon that the Pentagon doesn’t want. Today, Boehner’s colleagues said, “No.”
In a sign that some freshman Republicans were willing to cut military spending, the House voted 233-198 on Wednesday to cancel an alternate fighter jet engine that the Bush and Obama administrations had tried to kill for the last five years.
The vote marked another instance in which some of the new legislators, including members of the Tea Party, broke ranks with the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, where the engine provided more than 1,000 jobs.
President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Congress to scrap the engine and save up to $3 billion over the next several years. John Boehner urged Congress to approve the wasteful spending anyway. Today, Boehner lost.
The vote was unusually bipartisan, and tended to follow geographic, not political lines. In all, 233 lawmakers voted against the unnecessary engine — 123 Democrats and 110 Republicans.
Of course, it’s worth emphasizing that 130 House Republicans — the ones who claim to be desperate to cut unnecessary spending, even if it leads to massive layoffs — voted to keep spending taxpayer money on an engine the Pentagon doesn’t need and didn’t ask for.