Obama Vows to Veto His Own Defense Bill Over F-22s

Congress tries to tack on $1.75B for planes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2009 7:46 AM CDT
Defense Secretary Robert Gates looks on as President Barack Obama speaks to the media in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has found himself in the odd position of threatening to veto his own defense spending bill, after senators tacked on a last-minute amendment to spend $1.75 billion on seven F-22 fighter jets, Fox News reports. The jets are outdated, costly to fly, require frequent maintenance, and have never been used in Iraq or Afghanistan. But senators from states with F-22 plants are fighting for them.

“We do not need these planes,” Obama told senators yesterday. Standing with him are Robert Gates, Adm. Michael Mullen, John McCain, and Carl Levin. Analysts say it would be unprecedented for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the defense secretary to recommend vetoing their own defense spending bill, but that’s what Mullen and Gates are advocating.