(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – As Americans across the country file their taxes, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) today again questioned the decision to give a $40 billion tanker refueling contract – funded with American taxpayer dollars – to an illegally subsidized and foreign-owned company.
"While American taxpayers wait for their stimulus checks, the Administration is sending $40 billion of their hard-earned money overseas to design and build a plane for the American military. There is simply nothing fiscally responsible about that," Senator Murray said.
"We need to be investing in the American aerospace industry and the high-wage, high-skill jobs it supports," Murray said. "The Airbus contract is a European Stimulus Plan subsidized by the American taxpayer."
Boeing's KC-767 tanker, built by American workers, would also save the U.S. taxpayer billions of dollars over the anticipated 40 year life-cycle of the tanker.
Airbus' larger and less-fuel efficient plane would:
- Require approximately $2 billion in construction costs to upgrade hangars, runways, ramps and other infrastructure at current tanker bases.
- Require significant investment to be able to operate from the civilian airfields used by Air National Guard and Air Force reserves.
- Cost approximately 22 percent more to maintain than the smaller KC-767.
- Cost $30 billion more in fuel than the more efficient KC-767
"Every American family knows that when you're making big purchases you not only take into account the initial cost, but you have to look at long-term costs, repairs and capability. You have to ask yourself does this make sense in the long-run. The Pentagon didn't do that; all they asked was, 'Where do we send the check?'," Murray said.
"If the GAO conducts a fair accounting of this process and looks at these realistic life-cycle costs, their calculators will show that the Boeing tanker offers more value for the American warfighter at a lower cost to the American taxpayer."