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(Justin Sullivan)

- Steven Mufson


F-35 engine likely to be spared in U.S. budget

House Republicans will not eliminate the alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a $515 billion Pentagon budget for the current fiscal year that was due to be unveiled Friday, a lawmaker who oversees Pentagon funding said.

"The bill that we're going to deal with next week has the money in it," Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, said of the engine being developed by General Electric and Britain's Rolls-Royce.

The Pentagon has tried for five years to cancel the alternative engine, but lawmakers have refused to kill the program.

Young's comments indicated that it will not fall victim to a Republican effort to slash about $60 billion from the budget in the fiscal year that began in October.

The House and the Democrat-controlled Senate must agree on spending levels before current funding runs out on March 4.

- Reuters

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