All About Fairness:

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) secured passage of his amendment to the Senate version of the defense authorization bill that would direct the Air Force to conduct a “full and open competition” in its KC-135 tanker replacement program, according to a statement from his office. Sessions said, “This amendment sends the message that merit, not politics, should be the basis for the selection.” The two KC-X competitors—Boeing and the Northrop Grumman-EADS North America team—continue to mount vigorous public relations campaigns, each claiming to have the aircraft that best fits USAF’s needs. Earlier this week Boeing gathered reporters for another round, explaining why the KC-767 offers the better approach. A day later, Northrop did the same for its KC-30 entrant, but, topmost on its agenda was fending off the lingering “Buy America” complaint. Northrop VP Paul Meyer told reporters that despite overseas production of the KC-30’s main components, the US-based portion—mainly at a new plant in Mobile, Ala.—would generate about 25,000 new jobs. According to Meyer, Boeing can’t boast any more.