Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced Tuesday that he has “received confirmation” from the White House’s budget director that the continuing resolution designed to keep the government afloat through early next year “will continue funding” the F136 engine program. Proponents of F136 cancelation, Brown stated in a release, “had incorrectly argued that a CR would not require the Administration to fund the program.” Over Defense Department objections, Congress appropriated funds in Fiscal 2010 to continue the F136’s maturation. This engine, if it isn’t axed, would compete against Pratt & Whitney’s F135 to power future F-35 strike fighters. Congress has drafted the latest CR to fund government operations until March 4, 2011, in the absence of completed Fiscal 2011 appropriations bills for the federal departments. The Senate on Tuesday passed the CR by a 79-16 vote. The House subsequently approved the resolution 193 to 165. GE develops the F136 in Evendale, Ohio, near Cincinnati.
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.