Northrop, which teamed up with Airbus parent EADS to clinch the first stage of the $35 billion program, is facing an official protest from losing bidder Boeing Co and threats from some lawmakers to block funding of the deal.
"We're making our way through them," said Paul Meyer, vice president of Northrop's air mobility systems unit, referring to individual members of Congress. "We are going to be very prevalent and stay focused in front of the press to make sure the facts are always on the table."
Boeing, which was widely expected to win the tanker contract, has faulted the Air Force's decision-making process.
Meanwhile, its congressional supporters -- chiefly from the states of Washington and Kansas, where Boeing has its main plane-making plants -- have accused the Air Force of exporting jobs and endangering national security by awarding the job to the Northrop/EADS team.
The surprise announcement in February sparked a war of words between Boeing and Northrop and their respective supporters, through speeches in Congress, on television and in prominent newspaper ads.
Boeing has protested the award to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), which is expected to rule on the case by mid-June. Northrop cannot perform any work on the tanker until the GAO rules on the matter.
But even if Boeing's protest fails, Congress has the power to block funding for the deal, which would effectively overturn the contract. That sets up a battle between two politically savvy companies to win hearts and minds in Washington.
ABOUT THIS BLOG
I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
· To post questions or comments;
· To follow up on class discussions;
· To post relevant news items or videos.
There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.
The syllabus is at http://www1.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/JPitney/gov106-fall15.html