A US Marine Corps Lockheed Martin F-35B fighter jet taxis after landing at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford, Britain on July 8, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
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For members of Congress, there's nothing more American than baseball, apple pie and big defense contracts.Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, aware of the tens of thousands of jobs the aircraft generates in 45 states, will be leery of any plans by Trump to cut the program.Built by defense giant Lockheed Martin, the F-35 has a nearly $400 billion price tag. Despite the huge cost, the program has strong bipartisan support in Congress, where lawmakers view the aircraft as essential to U.S. national security.The F-35 program made up 20 percent of Lockheed's total 2015 revenue of $46.1 billion.Current plans call for the United States to buy nearly 2,500 F-35s.Lockheed said that it has worked to lower the price of the F-35 by 60 percent and expected the aircraft to cost $85 million each in 2019 and 2020 .Overall, the F-35 program is responsible for more than 146,000 U.S. jobs, the company said.
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