The House voted 257 to 160 to keep the Stealth bomber program alive next fiscal year, but on a much leaner budget than President Bush wants and under congressional quality controls seen as excessive by many advocates of the futuristic warplane. The amendment was added to the $305-billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 1990 that later was sent to conference with the Senate.
Designed to elude enemy radar and reach targets deep within Soviet territory, the nuclear-equipped Stealth, or B-2, would become the new air leg of America's air-land-sea "triad" strategy for deterring nuclear war with the Soviets. Each plane would cost upwards of $500 million.
The amendment calls for Congress to appropriate $3.7 billion for Stealth research and production next year rather than the $4.7 billion sought by the Pentagon, permits only two planes to be built next year rather than the five that the Administration wants assembled, and imposes performance standards on the unproven Stealth technology. But the amendment puts production on hold until the Administration devises and Congress accepts a scaled-back version of the Air Force's present plan to build 132 planes.
Members voting yes supported the amendment.
How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x