/ Modified oct 7, 2015 7:26 a.m.

Defense Funding, Including for A-10, Passes US Senate

Bill moves through despite Obama veto threat; McCain pushes back.

A-10 squadron in flight spotlight
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base


The Senate voted Tuesday to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets up a final vote later this week.

The NDAA tells the Pentagon how to spend its budget. This year it includes language prohibiting the Air Force from retiring the A-10 aircraft. More than 80 of those planes are headquartered at Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

President Barack Obama is threatening to veto the bill over where some of the Defense Department funding is found. He has threatened to veto the NDAA for the past five years.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in floor debate on the bill Tuesday chastised the president and Democrats for trying to kill it.

“The fight is on the appropriations, my friends, not on the authorization that defends this nation, and to do this kind of disservice to the men and women who are serving in uniform is a disgrace,” McCain said.

The president and the Pentagon have tried to mothball the A-10 for years, citing budgetary constraints.

An Air Force study earlier this year reported that Davis-Monthan contributes more than $1 billion a year to the Tucson area economy, about 3 percent of the metro area's GDP.

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