Senate Panel OKs Cash for Unwanted Drones, Ships

$604B budget rejects Pentagon cost-cutting plans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2012 3:07 AM CDT
Updated Aug 3, 2012 5:12 AM CDT
With US involvement in Afghanistan winding down, the Air Force hasn't asked for funding for C-27Js.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – With major Pentagon budget cuts looming, the Senate Appropriations Committee has decided to hand the military piles of money for stuff it says it doesn't want. A $604.5 billion defense budget approved by the powerful committee yesterday includes funding for drones, warships, and cargo planes that the Pentagon aims to phase out, Wired finds.

The panel said it was "troubled" by the Navy's wish to retire nine old cruisers and save the money for shipbuilding, and it was unconvinced by the Air Force's reasoning behind wanting to retire a version of the Global Hawk surveillance drone and the C27-J cargo plane. The full Senate still has to vote on the budget approved by the panel, which also approved $61 million to fix the Capitol dome. (Read more Senate Appropriations Committee stories.)

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