U.S. Senate Adds Boeing Growlers to Pentagon Budget

Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)

WASHINGTON (KMOX) – A U.S. Senate committee has joined the House in adding St. Louis-made Growler fighter jets to the Pentagon’s budget, but neither has authorized the number Boeing says it needs to keep the line open beyond 2016.

The Senate Armed Services Committee this week voted to stretch existing funding for the EA-18G and add $25 million, for a total of $100 million. It also directed the Navy to take steps to ensure it retains the option of buying more of the aircraft.

Earlier, the House authorized $450 million to buy five Growlers.

But Boeing says it needs orders for 21 jets to keep the line, which employs about 15,000 people here, open.

The full Senate must still vote on the Senate committee bill, and then both the House and Senate Appropriations committees have to formally agree to spend the money.

The Navy did not include Growlers in its original budget, but did put them at the top of it’s “unfunded priorities” list.

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