Tag Archives: John McCain

McCain agrees to compromise over Atlas 5 Russian engines

A deal struck today by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) will allow ULA to buy 18 more Russian engines for its Atlas 5, instead of the limit of nine that McCain had previously demanded.

The deal also includes a deadline of 2022, after which no more Russian engines can be purchased, even if some of the 18 have not yet been bought.

McCain challenges ULA cost figures for new engine

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has questioned the cost numbers that ULA has given the government for replacing the Russian engines it uses in the first stage of its Atlas 5 rocket.

ULA has been trying to convince Congress to let it use those Russian engines indefinitely. McCain wants their use discontinued, now. The result: a battle of numbers.

The real bottom line has really nothing to do with the Russian engines, however. The real bottom line is the bottom line itself: ULA has to quickly develop a rocket that costs less to launch, or else they will lose all their business to SpaceX. Their use of these Russian engines now in the Atlas 5 is really irrelevant, in the long run.

Budget bill lifts ban of Russian engines on Atlas 5

The giant omnibus budget bill negotiated and announced by Congress today includes language that effectively lifts the limit on the number of Russian engines that ULA can use in its Atlas 5 rocket.

John McCain (R-Arizona) is very unhappy about this, and is threatening to ban the use of any Russian engines on any further Atlas 5 in future bills.

On the record, I make this promise. If this language undermining the National Defense Authorization Act is not removed from the Omnibus, I assure my colleagues that this issue will not go unaddressed in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Up to this point, we have sought to manage this issue on an annual basis, and we have always maintained that, if a genuine crisis emerged, we would not compromise our national security interests in space. We have sought to be flexible and open to new information, but if this is how our efforts are repaid, then perhaps we need to look at a complete and indefinite restriction on Putin’s rocket engines.

Whether McCain will be able to do this however is somewhat questionable. He is up for election next year, is very disliked in Arizona, and is likely going to face a very tough primary battle that he very well might lose. Even so, it really won’t do ULA much good if they get the right to keep using Russian engines. As I said earlier today, ULA’s future as a rocket company is extremely limited if it doesn’t develop a cheaper rocket. Continued use of the Atlas 5 and these Russian engines does nothing to get that cheaper rocket built.

Spat between senators over Russian rockets

Pig fight! In response to Senator Richard Shelby’s (R-Alabama) effort, with the lobbying aid of ULA, to slip an amendment into a budget bill that would allow ULA to use Russian engines in its Atlas 5 indefinitely, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has written a scathing letter condemning the effort.

In a Nov. 19 letter, McCain asked Cochran to “respect the well-informed work my committee took” and to avoid the “year-over-year relitigation” of the engine issue.“Recent attempts by the incumbent contractor to manufacture a crisis by prematurely diminishing its stockpile of engines purchased prior to the Russian invasion of Crimea should be viewed with skepticism and scrutinized heavily,” McCain wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by SpaceNews. “Such efforts should not be misconstrued as a compelling reason to undermine any sanctions on Russia while they occupy Crimea, destabilize Ukraine, bolster Assad in Syria, send weapons to Iran and violate the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.”

McCain is no saint when it comes to pork, even if he is right on this issue. Shelby however is and has always been a pork pig. He has always put the needs of local companies ahead of the needs of the country. This story illustrates this perfectly.

Senate RINOS whine about the House’s refusal to give Obama what he wants

Well ain’t that a shame: Republicans senators McCain, Graham, Flake, and Kirk are fuming over the House’s refusal to settle the Homeland Security budget issues and give Obama what he wants.

GOP senators say it’s time to move on to other issues, such as the budget, trade legislation, and regulatory and tax reform. They must defend 24 seats in the 2016 election and worry that voters could soon start to question their ability to govern unless they can move forward with a more substantive agenda. The fight over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration brought that agenda to a standstill in February, as the threat of a homeland security shutdown thwarted other priorities.

“I just think we ought to move on to other things. I’m not sure how it helps for the American people to have the perception that Republicans in the Senate and Republicans in the House are at odds with each other,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “We have a lot of initiatives I think we could show the American people we can work together on,” he added.

This idiot thinks that achievement is passing a budget, no matter how stupid or illegal. McCain also thinks that the public wants Obama’s agenda fulfilled. Meanwhile, elections tell us a completely different story. I hope the conservatives in the House continue to make these guys squirm.

What infuriates me the most is that McCain and Flake are my senators. McCain I’ve known as a back-stabbing RINO for more than a decade, but Flake had been a decent congressman who had been instrumental in squelching a lot of pork from the budget. Once elected as a senator, however, I have discovered him to be as bad as McCain.