Who Said What

The threatened pull out from the KC-X tanker competition by Northrop Grumman prompted comments from lawmakers on both sides of the issue. In the Boeing camp, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) commented that the Northrop-EADs team had tried this before and said, “Potential bidders should not dictate terms to the Air Force.” Another Boeing supporter, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), called the situation “sole source blackmail.” Northrop tanker backer Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) expressed no surprise, saying, “It’s been apparent from day one that the Air Force’s most recent RFP tilted the playing field toward the less-capable Boeing aircraft.” According to a Press-Register report, fellow Northrop supporter Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) called the current draft RFP a “sham” that is essentially “a sole source contract to Boeing.” And, back on the Boeing side, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) claimed “[Northrop-Eads] Airbus is up to its same old tricks.” (Below are the statements we found.)

Sen. Sam Brownback statement

Sen. Pat Roberts statement

Sen. Jeff Sessions statement

Sen. Patty Murray statement

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) statement