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The C-17 Case Appears Solid: The Senate Armed Services Committee would provide $2.6 billion in the 2007 defense budget to extend production of the C-17 airlifter. In its markup of the defense bill it authorized purchase of two more C-17 airlifters than the 12 requested by the Pentagon and an advance buy of C-17 parts for additional aircraft, effectively extending production. House counterparts would authorize purchase of an additional three C-17s in 2007. The only issue now would seem to be how many more—not whether there will be more—of the new airlifters will Congress authorize. (There’s also an unlikely-to-succeed move in the Senate to squirrel some money for more C-17s in the 2006 emergency supplemental—see below.)