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House Defense Bills on Collision Course Over F-35, Second Sub

June 5, 2024

Audrey Decker

Defense One

Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs arrive at Air Base No. 11 in Beja, Portugal, May 31, 2024. U.S. AIR FORCE / SENIOR AIRMAN RENEE NICOLE S.N. FINONA

By Audrey Decker, Defense One / June 4, 2024

House appropriators want to buy more F-35 fighters but don’t want to fund a second attack submarine in fiscal 2025, a split from House authorizers’ own defense policy proposal. 

The House Appropriations committee’s $833 billion spending proposal, released today, would cut overall procurement for the Pentagon, but add money to buy eight more F-35s—bringing the total buy to 76 jets. 

By contrast, the House Armed Services committee’s version proposes to cut 10 F-35s, and delay the delivery of 10 additional jets, and redirect that money to fix some of the program’s problems. The toplines of both bills abided by the budget caps mandated by Congress in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, or FRA. But while authorizers inform policy decisions and make spending suggestions, appropriators ultimately greenlight the funds. 

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