House Bill Loaded With $6.5B the Pentagon Doesn't Want

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2009 8:30 AM CDT
House Bill Loaded With $6.5B the Pentagon Doesn't Want
Obama wants to kill the VH-71 presidential transport, a $500 million copter that, in Gates' words, allows the president to "cook dinner while in flight under nuclear attack."   (PRNewsFoto/AgustaWestland)

(Newser) – They gave up on the F22, but Congress is still trying to give the Pentagon $6.9 billion in planes, helicopters and ships the Defense secretary doesn’t want, the Washington Post reports. House Democrats have loaded the defense spending bill with earmarks for programs Barack Obama and Robert Gates have specifically targeted as waste, and the White House says if it isn't pruned Obama may veto it.

About $2.75 billion of the extra expenditures consists of earmarks from individual lawmakers. Half of that was requested by private firms that have donated a total of $789,190 over the past 2½ years to various appropriations committee members. And, thanks to an unusually restrictive debate rule passed yesterday, the majority of the unwanted funds are guaranteed to get through the floor debate. (Read more Congress stories.)

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