- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine is making the pitch to save some aircraft at an Oklahoma base as the House Armed Services Committee begins crafting a $601 billion defense bill.

The committee began discussions Wednesday on a defense bill that would authorize spending on planes, personnel, weapons and ships in the budget year that begins Oct. 1.

Bridenstine, who is a pilot, won voice vote approval for saving three of seven AWACS aircraft based at Tinker Air Force Base.

Bridenstine told his colleagues that the aircraft are “the quarterback of the Air Force’s football team.”

The full House is expected to consider the legislation the week of May 19. The bill would have to be reconciled with a still-to-be-written Senate version.

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