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St. Louis' Super Hornets score vote of confidence in defense budget fight

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY — One of the region's major assembly lines on Wednesday scored an early victory in Washington's annual military spending debate.

The U.S. House committee drafting this year's defense policy bill voted to recommend eight more new F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets for the Navy, a shift from earlier plans to end the program.

The policy bill itself doesn't mandate any spending, but historically it has offered a reliable indicator of how actual budgets will look. 

If Wednesday's recommendation comes to fruition, it would offer a welcome lifeline for a St. Louis program that might otherwise idle in the latter half of the decade.

Among those backing the plan were Missouri Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Sam Graves, both Republicans.

A spokesperson for Boeing declined comment.

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