(WASHINGTON, DC) – This afternoon a House-Senate conference committee finalized the Defense spending bill for 2002, and included a provision for the Air Force to lease 100 Boeing 767s over the next ten years. This deal, which was initially in the Senate version of the bill, but not in the House version, was adopted by the conference.

Senator Murray issued the following statement:

"Moments ago, the Defense Appropriations Conference Committee concluded its work on the 2002 Defense bill with great news for Washington state. The Conference Committee adopted the Senate provision which enables the Air Force to lease 100 Boeing 767 airplanes over the next ten years.

This is fantastic news for Boeing and for workers in Washington State.

Our economy has been especially hard-hit as a result of September 11th, and this deal, which we have been working on for over 3 months, will provide thousands of jobs to Washington workers. This is exactly the economic shot-in-the arm that Washington State needs now.

This is also a big win for the Air Force. As our men and women in uniform are defending our country, they need the best, most modern equipment we can provide.

I am proud of the work that the Senate has done to approve a full 100-plane package, and I am pleased that the House has accepted the Senate's proposal."