Murtha Backs Down on F-22

| Thu Jul. 23, 2009 5:45 PM EDT

Well, how about that. John Murtha announces he'll abandon his fight to keep the F-22 alive. That means the plane is finally, officially, definitely dead.

He did manage to shoehorn a few sweeteners into the House version of the defense budget, though:

* He allocated the money that he'd wanted to spend on new F-22s to buy parts for existing F-22s (way back when, this money was supposed to go to environmental clean-up.)

* He's hanging on to the VH-71 presidential helicopter (the one designed so Obama could whip up a bite to eat during a nuclear attack.)

* The House bill also contains money for C-17 cargo planes that Defense Secretary Robert Gates didn't want.

For a pork addict like Murtha, I guess this is kind of like legislative nicorette.