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U.S. Senate Strips Funding for Additional F-22 Fighter Jets
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The U.S Senate voted Tuesday to strip additional F-22 funding from the defense budget bill.  If the funding isn't reinstated, thousands of Pratt and Whitney jobs could be lost.

In a 58-40 vote, the Senate supported an amendment to strike $1.75 billion dollars from the proposed bill that would have paid for the production of 7 F-22 Raptor fighter jets.  Senator Chris Dodd was a vocal supporter of the funding, considering that parts of the jet's engine are manufactured in Connecticut. 

Dodd says the fight isn't over.

"We'll have other chances to come back and continue to make our case on this issue. Some modified version as well becomes a possibility. Doesn't mean the battle is over with, just means we have to go to the next round."

Pratt and Whitney Spokeswoman, Erin Dick says the company could reduce its workforce if funding for the F-22 isn't reinstated but it's waiting for the final defense budget.

She says 2-thousand Pratt and Whitney workers help manufacture the F-22 engine.

"The engine powering the F-22 is the most advanced military jet engine in operation today and offers the Airforce a critical national security capability which can not be achieved with any other single airframe. We remain focused on delivering the highest quality F119 propulsion systems to support the critical mission of the F-22 Raptor."

President Barack Obama praised the Senate's vote--saying the savings will better protect US  troops.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates also opposed further production of the F-22, saying it was too expensive at a time of limited budgets at the Pentagon and competing defense spending priorities.