Ominous development for Northrop’s tanker

An ominous political development for the Northrop tanker award by the USAF may be developing in the US Senate.

An article today in The Washington Post discusses the future of Sen. Robert Byrd, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Byrd is 90 years old an ailing. He’s been frequently absent from his Senate duties, and here’s where this could become ominous for Northrop. According to The Post, Byrd at times last year turned to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to assume the lead role in appropriations matters.

Murray, known within Washington State (and probably Washington, DC, too) as the Senator from Boeing, has made it her mission to kill the Northrop award. If Byrd’s ill health means turning over reigns, even on spot-issues, to Murray, this does not bode well for Northrop–which, along with partner EADS, has blithely dismissed Murray’s effectiveness as a Senator.

(As a constituent of Murray’s we can attest that she is far more effective than either Northrop or EADS give her credit for.)

Assuming the Democrats gain seats in the Senate in the November election, as conventional wisdom currently concludes, Murray could gain even more clout as a senior member of Appropriations. Regardless of the outcome of the Boeing protest to the GAO over the contract award, Murray’s increasing influence and stature on Senate Appropriations isn’t good news for Northrop.

2 Comments on “Ominous development for Northrop’s tanker

  1. Too funny. I wonder if you guys even think for yourselves sometimes. You’re better off sticking to aircraft and leave the politics for those of us who know what we’re talking about.

    Helping out with the work for an ailing chairman is far from taking over. Should something happen to Senator Byrd, there is no way she will jump 6 senators on the Appropriations Committee with more seniority than her. Add to that her seniority amongst the Dems in the Senate is 23 of 51 and there are folks who would jump at a chance to switch committees.

  2. Boeing has a record of cheating, so when they can’t win a contract fair they will do anything to swing votes or contracts there way, I worked there 18 years so I have some knowledge of what go on there. They try to cheat on the first tanker deal, they lost the satellite contract because they allowed a new hire from Lockheed to bring some documents to help seal the lunch contract, then they had some under handed dealings with the C130 AMP program and ,the list go’s on and on

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