This is an issue that we here at LBK have been all over since the first days of our existence, and something our Republican counterparts on the Net have pretty much ignored (coal is so much more sexy).
“Roberts had two chances to fight for Boeing and Kansas,” Slattery said. “First as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and then as a member of the conference committee for the 2006 Defense Authorization bill. On both occasions, Roberts failed.”The Roberts camp had contended that the provision wouldn't have prevented the deal because Northrop Grumman -- an American defense contractor -- is partnering with AirBus on the contract. According to Defense News, that's not the case.
“The [Buy American] provision aimed at Airbus, a subsidiary of European giant EADS, is a narrowly written amendment banning the defense secretary from buying goods or services from any foreign company that receives subsidies from a foreign government that is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The prohibition applies when the United States is engaged in an unresolved WTO dispute over the subsidies, or if the WTO has ruled that the subsidy is prohibited.
The language is tailor-made to keep Airbus from winning an Air Force tanker contract against its American rival, Boeing.”
NOTE: It is but a coincidence that the son of Pat Roberts, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was a lobbyist for one of the biggest defense contractors in the country (Northrop) and he just worked on helicopters, so there is nothing unseemly going on there.
The Roberts camp is singing a different tune now. Now they're saying they voted against the Buy American Provision because it was "protectionist" and "irresponsible" and that it would have been vetoed by the President.
The problem is, if the provision was specifically tailored to prevent the very eventuality that happened -- AirBus winning the contract -- why is Roberts so outraged now? Does he no longer believe it's "protectionist" to prevent the outsourcing of military contracts to companies subsidized by foreign governments?
Also, don't forget the fight to kill the Buy American provision was championed by none other than Sen. John McCain.
Kudos to Slattery for holding Roberts' feet to the fire and saying what we've all been thinking since ol' Memory Pills started carrying the Bush Administration's water.
“It’s time Roberts put the best interests of Kansas ahead of old party politics,” Slattery said. “Roberts had an obligation to do his job and stand up to President Bush on behalf of Boeing and Wichita.”
Slattery said Roberts should be fired for failing to protect Kansas jobs. “It is time to replace Roberts with a senator who will care about Kansans and champions the issues important to them,” Slattery said.
I think Sen. Sam Brownback put it best.
"Thanks be to God and the GAO."Someone had to make the right decision, because Brownback, Tiahrt, Roberts and McCain sure weren't in any mood to do it. Not if it meant standing up to George W. Bush and their EADS lobbyist buddies.