Washington lawmakers claim victory in Boeing tanker decision - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington lawmakers claim victory in Boeing tanker decision

Washington Senator Patty Murray Washington Senator Patty Murray

SEATTLE, Wash. - Senator Patty Murray says the Government Accountability Office was correct to take Boeing's side in its protest of the Air Force tanker contract. Murray told Seattle's KOMO Radio "something smelled" about the decision in favor of Airbus from the beginning.

Murray hopes Boeing will eventually win the contract which would keep the 767 line open at Everett's Boeing factory.

Senator Maria Cantwell told KOMO Radio it's a "great announcement for Boeing and the American people." She expects the Air Force to rebid the contract. Congressman Jay Inslee says he was not surprised, but it's very unusual to have a contract protest upheld.

Congressman Norm Dicks says the GAO "made a courageous decision" that the Air Force mishandled the bidding, especially in considering the life cycle costs, such as fuel.

An analyst with Teal Group in the Washington, D.C., area, Richard Aboulafia, told KOMO Radio he was surprised by the strong language used by the GAO. He says analysts expected the GAO might find only a few irregularities.

Wednesday's decision puts pressure on the Air Force to reopen the bidding.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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