Wednesday, June 24, 2015

McCain Accuses Republican of Funding Putin - The Daily Beast

McCain Accuses Republican of Funding Putin - The Daily Beast: Hundreds of millions in U.S. taxpayer dollars could be spent on Russian rocket engines if a tiny section slipped into the annual defense spending bill is ultimately passed.

Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is furious, calling it a benefit to “Vladimir Putin’s cronies”—and accusing a fellow Republican of trying to keep the cash flowing to Moscow. But the reality is there may not be an alternate to the Russian engines—at least not in the short term.

McCain has previously led an effort to ban the purchase of the Russian-made RD-180 engine, which is used to power Pentagon and U.S. intelligence community space launches, by 2019. He views the section in the appropriations bill as a threat to his prohibition.

“Why in the world would anyone think we would want to continue dependency on Russian rocket engines, which traces up to the corrupt mafia that is around Vladimir Putin?” McCain told The Daily Beast. “The American people should ask a question of these appropriators: Why are you taking care of Vladimir Putin’s cronies?”

The apparent bid to weaken McCain’s prohibition is being led by the powerful chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, a fellow Republican.