The U.S. Senate has voted to cut funding for construction of stealth F-22 fighters. The vote was 58 to 40 with Utah’s two Republican senators voting no, claiming it cold cost jobs at Hill Air Force Base. President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Democratic and Republican leaders on the Senate Armed Services Committee asked senators to end the program saying the money would be better used on other military technologies, including much cheaper unpiloted drones. More than 100 people work directly on maintaining the F-22 at Hill Air Force Base in Northern Utah. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, argued that the nation needed to continue building the F-22 to maintain its air superiority over the fighters being designed by Russia and China. Backed by Senator John McCain, Obama said 187 Raptors are enough and he threatened to veto the defense bill if the F-22 money is not removed. The president says he rejects the notion that we have to waste billions of taxpayer dollars on outdated and unnecessary projects to keep the nation secure. Sen. Bob Bennett, R-UT, also cast a “no” vote. Representative Rob Bishop, R-UT, whose district includes Hill Air Force Base, says we should not skimp on the defense of this country.
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