August 11th, 2009
01:35 PM ET
5 years ago

House to back off from controversial plane purchase

The House of Representatives is dropping a plan to make the Pentagon buy more civilian-style jets than it requested.
The House of Representatives is dropping a plan to make the Pentagon buy more civilian-style jets than it requested.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Under criticism for appearing extravagant, the House of Representatives is dropping a plan to make the Pentagon buy more civilian-style jets than it requested.

A statement released by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, appeared to end the controversy over the addition of four planes in the House military appropriations bill to the Pentagon's original request of four to upgrade its aging fleet of aircraft used to transport Washington officials, including members of Congress.

The Pentagon wanted a C-37 Gulfstream jet and three C-40 military versions of the Boeing 737. The House added two C-37s and two C-40s at a cost of more than $270 million.

Dropping the proposal doesn't save money, as the total funding provided by the bill remains unchanged. It means the money that would have been used to pay for the extra planes will go to other purposes.

But some members of Congress from both parties criticized the plan to buy the additional planes, saying it created the perception of spending extravagance by Congress. The Gulfstreams would be similar to private jets used by corporate executives, they noted.

Murtha's statement Monday night defended the plan, but said the additional aircraft will be dropped from the spending measure.

"These aircraft will not increase the overall passenger aircraft fleet, but instead will replace older aircraft that have both safety and maintenance issues," said Murtha, chairman of House defense appropriations subcommittee. "In addition, these newer model aircraft cost significantly less to operate than the current aircraft."

His statement concluded by yielding to the Pentagon's wishes, saying, "If the Department of Defense does not want these aircraft, they will be eliminated from the bill."


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soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. All Good Things

    Good. Money well (not) spent!

    August 11, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Kate in SW Fla

    They just need to start spending less. This congress, Republicans as well as Democrats, want to fund F-22s that the Pentagon said it DOES NOT WANT! I believe that the Pentagon should get to decide if they ened those planes or would rather use taxpaayer money for something thay can use in the 21st Century!!!!

    August 11, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Peter

    Does the general public realize that the aerospace industry in the USA is a major industry, employing thousands of people? Do your homework before criticizing something you don't understand. Let's not put the aerospace industry in the same condition as the auto industry.

    August 11, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Doug, New Jersey

    They won't get the jets, but the money is still being spent. It is obvious that the funds will now be allocated to further Pelosi lib botox injections

    August 11, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Willy Brown

    Let them fly coach like the rest of the legal tax paying americians!

    August 11, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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