- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday passed a measure that would effectively block President Trump from unilaterally altering the current light blue and white color design on his presidential plane — a design which has been in place since the Kennedy administration.

Rep. Joe Courtney, Connecticut Democrat, introduced the amendment to a massive defense authorization bill that would require congressional approval for Mr. Trump to do any “work relating to aircraft paint scheme, interiors and livery” of Air Force One.

“Additional paint can add weight to the plane, additional fixtures inside the plane can also add cost and delays to the delivery of the plane,” he argued at a House Armed Services Committee mark-up Wednesday.

Boeing has a $3.9 billion contract to refurbish the famed aircraft, and the amendment would prevent excessive spending on “less essential items regarding the paint and interior decorating” of the presidential plane.

Mr. Trump — the first president who once ran an airline named after himself — had previously suggested he would like to repaint the Boeing 747-200 presidential aircraft in a red, white and blue motif. But an Armed Services subcommittee unanimously approved language requiring any change to the Air Force One livery to “comply with the criteria set forth” in a Boeing-led study in 2017 on various paint schemes for the plane.



A handful of Republican members of the committee were hesitant to support the amendment at the mark-up of the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act. Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne said the move “looks like an attempt to just poke at the president.”

Minutes before the amendment passed by a 31-26 margin, committee Chairman Adam Smith, Washington Democrat, said “as I understand it, these planes are not even going to be delivered until late 2024, 2025. This president is not going to fly on this plane under any circumstances.”

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