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Alternate Engine, More C-17s in Spending Bill: The House on Wednesday passed the $636.3 billion defense spending bill, which includes funding for the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine for the F-35 strike fighter and 10 additional C-17s airlifters—neither of which the Pentagon wanted. The Fiscal 2010 measure now must pass the full Senate before heading to the White House. The measure is $3.8 billion shy of the Administration request, but it includes $465 million to continue development and initial procurement of the so-called alternate engine for the F-35, currently powered by the Pratt & Whitney F135. The bill also has $2.5 billion to fund 10 more C-17s. (House Appropriations Committee summary)