House Backs General Electric Engine Over Pentagon’s Opposition

May 28, 2010

Bloomberg News

May 28 (Bloomberg) — General Electric Co. won support from the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday in a battle to fund its backup engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, over objections from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The House, on a 231-193 vote, defeated an effort to remove $485 million for the engine that the House Armed Services Committee had included in the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill.

The House action came after the Senate Armed Services Committee decided earlier yesterday to reject funding for the GE engine. The full Senate hasn’t yet voted.

GE wants Congress to keep funding the F-35 backup engine. Gates has said having a second engine is a wasteful expense. Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp., supplies the primary engine for the Lockheed Martin Corp. jet and opposes the GE program.

The House voted down an amendment to strip the funding that was sponsored by Democrats John Larson of Connecticut and Chellie Pingree of Maine, whose districts have plants for Pratt & Whitney,

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