WASHINGTON, D.C. — Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted today to strike funding from the defense budget that would have expanded the F-22 fighter program.
The two Democrats sided with the White House and a majority of their colleagues in the 58-40 vote, which eliminated $1.75 billion for an additional seven F-22s.
The move marked a victory for the Obama administration, which had argued recently that the additional planes were not wanted or needed.
In a statement, Klobuchar called the vote “one of the difficult choices we need to make to protect national security.”
She also noted that the Defense Department had not requested more F-22s.
“We already have 187 F-22s in our arsenal, and our troops and commanders are telling us they don’t need additional planes and that instead we need more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters,” Klobuchar said. “We must focus our efforts on making sure that our troops in the field have what they need to fight present and future conflicts. Cutting this $1.75 billion is in the nation’s long-term interest and in the interest of our troops.”