Depressing F-22 Update No. 463

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OK, maybe there haven’t been quite that many. But lawmakers trying to deal a death blow to the F-22 fighter jet suffered yet another setback on Wednesday. The Senate was supposed to vote today on an amendment from Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain that would strip funding for the outmoded, overpriced plane from this year’s defense authorization bill. (Obama has threatened to veto the legislation if it contains F-22 money.) There was a lot of last-minute arm-twisting yesterday, but the word on Tuesday night was that Levin and McCain had mustered just enough votes to kill the plane.

But not so fast! I’ve just heard that Levin has withdrawn the amendment for now, apparently because it somehow got caught in the middle of a separate battle brewing in the Senate over whether to add hate-crimes legislation to the defense legislation. Of course, maybe Levin just realized that he didn’t have the votes after all. That wouldn’t be so surprising—Lockheed and Boeing, which make the planes, have showered nearly $1.4 million on 50 senators so far this year. Levin plans to try again sometime later this week—I’ll let you know what happens.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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