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Thu June 19, 2008
GAO Renews Boeing Hopes For Airtanker RIghts
By Dan Verbeck, KCUR News
Kansas City, MO. – Congress' own detectives in the Government Accountability Office rip the lid off the Air Force's most controversial contract-award of late. The outcome may be Kansas' gain.
Boeing lost the initial bid for a new tanker fleet. The fleet of 500 KC 135 tankers entered service in the 1950's. The GAO now finds Boeing's protest of the contract award has merit.
The Economic Policy Institute finds the original winner, Airbus, would create half the number of jobs as Boeing for the $35 billion contract, and not originally revealed. Senator Pat Roberts(R,Ks) knows how mid Kansas economy relies on Boeing Plane building. In his words,
"This is about our skilled workforce, American workers, as opposed to Airbus that's never built one of these planes. And their claim that somehow there's gonna be 30 thousand jobs in America, I don't know."
Observers say the Air Force will be on the hotseat to explain what criteria it used to award the tanker fleet to a foreign builder. The subject will be followed with keen interest by 24 Boeing suppliers with offices in places such as Overland Park and Olathe.