Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers’ Statement on Fast-Track Rebidding of Refueling Tanker Contract

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers released the following statement after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the Undersecretary of Defense will oversee an expedited recompetition for new air refueling tankers.

“I am pleased the Secretary of Defense realizes the importance of securing new air refueling tankers in a timely manner. It’s important we replace the aging KC-135 tankers at Fairchild Air Force Base as soon as possible.

As I’ve said since the air refueling contract process began, we must ensure the procurement process is fair and transparent so we can be sure we are building the best tankers possible for America at the best value for taxpayers.

The expedited rebidding will give Boeing a fair opportunity to compete for the chance to continue its tradition of producing quality air refueling tankers in the United States.”

Today’s decision by Secretary Gates follows the General Accounting Office’s report that found serious flaws with the process the Air Force used to award to the contract to Northrop Grumman and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers represents Fairchild Air Force Base, the largest employer in the Spokane area. Since coming to Congress in 2005, she has been working to protect and expand the role of Fairchild AFB. Included in that effort is her work to ensure the next generation of air refueling tankers is based at Fairchild AFB.

Destry Henderson

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