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Politics & Government

Walberg breaks from party on military jet engine vote

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U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, voted to retain funding for the F-35 alternate engine, despite opposition by the Pentagon and the Republican party.

A Michigan lawmaker broke away from his party this week when he voted against an amendment to eliminate a military jet engine program.

A different version of the engine for the F-35 stealth fighter would have assured a backup in case of a breakdown of the original engine,or for different kinds of missions.

But Pentagon officials, the Obama administration and the Tea Party said they didn’t want the program.

Cutting it would save about three billion dollars.

U.S. Rep.  Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, says he voted to keep it for other reasons.

"Sometimes the top grass go with the policy of the administration or the defense department or the Pentagon, when the guys and the gals in the field sometimes know more of what they exactly need to carry out their mission," Walberg says.

He also says some of the parts for the F-35 engine are made in Jackson --  part of his district.

The amendment  to eliminate the engine passed on a vote of 233-198.