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(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."