Jay Love: Tanker Deal Shows Teams Matter in Congress
State Rep. Jay Love today railed against Democrats for playing politics in the process to replace the aging fleet of U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotankers, saying they have bowed to Boeing and union influence in their biased support for an inferior military product that places politics above pilots and keeps well-earned jobs out of Alabama.
At a community barbeque in Enterprise with U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions and local officials, Love said the fact that Democrats have placed party and union loyalties over what is best for the military shows why teams matter in Congress.
"If anybody thinks that parties don't matter in Washington, just look at this tanker contract," said Love. "From day one, Democrats have been lock-in-step with the unions and Beltway Bully Boeing trying to give away this project to their friends, no matter the cost to the taxpayer or the warfighter. Now, they're celebrating yet another delay in the process, while pilots depend on Eisenhower-era planes twice their age."
In February, a team led by Northrop-Grumman and EADS North America won a $35 billion contract to build the next generation of refueling tankers in Mobile, bringing thousands of jobs to Alabama and rejuvenating an aerospace corridor for the entire Gulf Coast region. Angry protests from Boeing and a swarm of threats from Congressional Democrats led to a GAO analysis and eventually a new bid process.
Last week, Democrats hailed a Department of Defense decision to further delay a decision on the tanker project, even though the process has lasted more than seven years largely due to shenanigans by Boeing and their democrat allies. Showing his true team colors while speaking to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers, Sen. Barack Obama told union members he would vigorously fight for their jobs as president. Obama had the audacity to criticize whistleblower Sen. John McCain saying, "John McCain just doesn't get it. Just ask your brothers and sisters at Boeing."
In 2002, as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain objected to an underhanded deal to pass the contract along to Boeing as a congressional earmark without a bid process. McCain's inquiries eventually revealed a procurement scandal that sent Boeing Chief Financial Officer Mike Sears to prison.
"Teams matter in politics," said Love. "I'm on the team with John McCain, who sniffed out the first bogus deal with Boeing and made sure the process was fair and accountable. I'm on the team with Governor Riley and Senator Sessions that's trying to bring jobs to this state - and more importantly - deliver the best, most capable aircraft possible to the United States Air Force without delay."