Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Marine One update……..

The Senate has passed the plan for the basic 2010 Defense Bill…the House finished theirs a few weeks ago (10/6/09)……both have sent their plans up to the White House for the Presidents signature……Now both the House and Senate will committee their versions of the bills to come up with the final draft , which will then go back to the president for his signature, and funding release from Congress……..

The VH-71A (Marine One Helo) program has been terminated by the Defense Department…Lockheed has laid off 700 employees in Owego, NY….the nine helicopters that the Navy paid for are in storage……House Member Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Michael Acuri (D-NY) , along with House Defense Chair, John Murtha (D-PA) has tried to find a way to keep the program going……They have been advertised  a position that it makes sense to move on the existing helo’s……so, Murtha has asked for $485 million to continue the program….the House has come up with $55 million to end the program and $30 million to re-open bidding a new aircraft……The Senate has authorized no funds (but Senator’s Schumer, and Gillibrand will push to have something done, if they can)……if Murtha can get a tacit agreement from Obama to have Gates to take a second look at the program, with a thought on saving costs…the House would push for the  full $485 million to rehire the Upstate New York workers, and resurrect the program…..if not, the Navy and Marines will start with a $1.3 billion  fix-up program for the current fleet (incidentally, I saw the Presidents helo’s this afternoon on their way to Connecticut with the CIC for  fund raising stop).

The whole thing has cooled down a bit …and the presidents threat of a veto, if any money was in the forthcoming bill for the program seems to be gone…..

This link is a very good back rounder on the whole thing since the summer……

October 23, 2009 - Posted by | Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , , , ,

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