Two U.S. senators with sway over all federal spending have dealt a crippling bipartisan blow to the Pentagon’s troubled $2.7-billion program to use radar-carrying blimps to search for enemy missiles.
Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who holds the Democrats’ No. 2 leadership position in the Senate, have refused a request by the Obama administration to shift $27.2 million to the program to keep it alive.
Durbin now favors killing the blimp system, called JLENS.