Senate Panel Wants More C-17s

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel on Wednesday added $2.5 billion to its version of the Fiscal 2010 defense spending bill to buy 10 C-17 transports that the Obama Administration did not request. Pentagon leaders want to stop C-17 production at current levels (205-aircraft program of record, plus eight more funded in 2009 war supplemental). But panel chairman Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) said during the markup session that he believes that DOD “will eventually conclude” that buying more C-17s and keeping an active production line is “the right solution.” The House version of the spending bill includes money for three C-17s. If this mark survives the full Senate, then the two chambers would hash out the final number in conference. Neither the House nor Senate included funds for more C-17s in their respective Fiscal 2010 defense authorization bills. (Inouye statement and Subcommittee markup summary)