Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday morning withdrew the measure they had crafted earlier this week in an attempt to thwart the addition of more F-22s in the Fiscal 2010 defense policy bill. According to various news reports, Levin said it was a temporary withdrawal. The Senate Armed Services Committee as a whole passed its markup of the bill with seven additional Raptors over the objections of chairman Levin and ranking minority member McCain. Levin pulled the no-more F-22s amendment when he couldn’t get agreement on a time to vote on the measure, reports The Hill. The Senate is still working on the defense bill. The House passed its version last month, with additional F-22s.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.