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The Senators’ C-17 Debate: Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued in vain earlier this week to remove a $2.5 billion markup to the Senate’s version of the Fiscal 2010 defense spending bill to buy 10 C-17 transports that the Pentagon and White House don’t want. “I agree that the C-17 is a great plane,” McCain said Wednesday on the Senate floor before his proposed amendment to reapply those funds to the military’s operations and maintenance accounts came to a vote. As we reported yesterday, the  vote was 64 to 34 against McCain's amendment. McCain backs the Administration plan to stop C-17 production, but C-17 proponents believe the military needs more C-17s and Congress should let USAF retire older C-5 airlifters. Continue