Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)By Brian Kelly

WASHINGTON (KMOX) – A U.S. Senate committee today begins negotiations that could determine the fate of thousands of jobs in St. Louisand tens of thousands nationwide.

The Senate Armed Services Committee begins work on the defense authorization bill, and will decide if 22 St. Louis-made EA-18G Growlers should be added to the defense budget.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says adding them will be tough, because the Navy only put the planes at the top of its “unfunded priorities list.”

She says that because the Navy did not include them in its budget request, the money for the jets will have to come from other accounts, which are already tight.

“The tricky part of that is unfunded,” she says. “So, we’ve got to steal money from something else in order to put money into that.”

The House Armed Services Committee has added five Growlers, but Boeing says it needs 22 to keep the line open beyond 2016.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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