Shelby: Gates to Re-open Tanker Contract Bid Process

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will announce today the reopening of competition for a $40 billion tanker contract.

The contract had been won by a group that was part of Europe-based Airbus. But a General Accountability Office report found credence in complaints made by Airbus's competitor, Boeing, and the U.S.-based company's supporters in Congress.

Read the full story at TheHill.com.

Shelby, whose state will help build the tanker if Airbus wins the contract, urged a quick resolution to the bid process in a statement, which is posted below.

"This is the best of all options. It is important to remember that out of Boeing's 111 complaints, the [General Accountability Office (GAO)] concurred with a mere seven. The plan the Department of Defense has come up with is an appropriate solution to remedy the minor procedural flaws the GAO found in the initial award. It is vitally important that members of Congress support this expeditious path forward that not only satisfies the recommendations offered by GAO, but also ensures that the Air Force's urgent and compelling need to field a tanker is met as quickly as possible."