- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are urging lawmakers not to deny military contractors access to Russian rocket engines.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain was sent a letter dated May 11 from the officials, which pleaded with Congress to allow “assured access to space” via Russian D-180 rocket engines, Reuters reported Wednesday. The 2015 defense authorization law banned the use of Russian engines that were not paid for before Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Top military officials want the law changed so that United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, would be allowed to obtain rocket engines it ordered — but did not pay for — prior to the law’s implementation, Reuters reported.

The House Armed Services Committee has proposed a similar measure, Reuters reported.

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