The year-end 2009 Congress broadly supported paying for troops fighting overseas and other elements of the Pentagon budget, reflecting a motive to provide both funding for our troops and help for those who are struggling.
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Congress Supports 2010 Defense Bill

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The year-end 2009 Congress broadly supported paying for troops fighting overseas and other elements of the Pentagon budget, reflecting a motive to provide both funding for our troops and help for those who are struggling.

The 2010 defense bill, which contains $128 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and a 3.4 percent pay raise for the military, also enjoyed wide support. The Senate immediately approved a temporary measure to fund Pentagon operations through Dec. 23.

In the category or weapons funding, President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates killed the super-expensive F-22 fighter program and an over-budget new presidential helicopter.

But consensus for an alternative engine for the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter saved jobs in Ohio, Indiana and other states: the main F-35 engine is built in Connecticut by Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp.

In twin victories for the Boeing Co., the Senate measure includes $2.5 billion to fund 10 C-17 cargo planes assembled in Long Beach, Calif,.and money for nine more F-18 Navy fighters than Obama requested. They are to be assembled in St. Louis.

As of December 2009, President Obama has yet to request funds for his announced troop increase in Afghanistan. This defense measure would trim $900 million from the Pentagon's $7.5 billion budget to train Afghan security forces, and use money to buy about 1,400 additional mine-resistance vehicles suited for rugged conditions in Afghanistan.

The measure also trims personnel and maintenance accounts to pump up weapons procurement for Afghanistan and Iraq by almost $2 billion.

The measure also omits Obama's $100 million request to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba and permits Guantanamo detainees to be transferred to the U.S. to stand trial.



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