Yesterday John McCain took to the floor of the Senate to make the administration's case on cutting F-22. He asked Carl Levin when there would be a vote on the amendment stripping F-22 funding from the defense authorization. Levin replied that the Senate would vote by noon today. A source on the Hill now tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that such a vote is unlikely. This source added that whenever the vote does come down, "it will likely be a close vote."
Indeed, one thing that's been consistent throughout this process has been quiet support for F-22, in contrast to the vocal opposition from Obama, Gates, and McCain. Most people thought that F-22 was DOA as soon as Gates released the administration's defense budget. But it turns out that support for the program in Congress is pretty broad. As one Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee told Tom Donnelly and Gary Schmitt for their piece in this week's issue, "It's not a Democrat or Republican thing at all, but rather a Congress versus the executive in terms of who's in charge."