Just want to set this bit of legislative sausage-making up for you. Makes for an interesting thought exercise.
Defying Obama, House votes to keep F-35 second engine funds
By Roxana Tiron - 05/27/10 09:56 PM ET
The House on Thursday voted to keep funding a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, defying the White House and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Gates has repeatedly threatened that he would personally recommend that President Barack Obama veto any defense bill containing funding for an engine made by General Electric-Rolls Royce that the Pentagon does not want. The Office of Management and Budget on Thursday followed up with its own veto threat in a statement of administration policy.
Annoying, right? But you know the drill: the Pentagon doesn't want the thing, but Members representing districts where the engines are built say the jobs are too good to give up. Classic dilemma that ends up frustrating everyone, and a line's got to be drawn somewhere, yes? And here's Gates saying he's recommending to President Obama that he get tough and just say no.
But it means something in particular that the House voted to do this yesterday. What, exactly? It means it did it as part of the defense authorization bill. And that means it's in the same bill that includes the celebrated Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal added by amendment yesterday.
That's right. The leverage that the President has in putting his foot down on this is... to veto the bill repealing DADT.
Now, there will be other opportunities to deal with this. For instance, in the defense appropriations bill, which would actually allocate the funding to pay for the engine, the construction of which is merely authorized by the current bill.
But for right now, the bottom line is that the credibility of the threat to veto F-35 engine authorization has to be measured against our estimate of Obama's willingness to veto DADT repeal, too.
And don't for a second think the legislators pushing for the engine didn't know that.
Sausage-making! Woo-hoo! U-S-A!