The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports the legislative options under discussion include:
- Prohibiting the award of a U.S. government contract to any company found by the U.S. government to be receiving illegal subsidies. (The U.S. Trade Representative has stated EADS, the parent of plane maker Airbus, receives illegal subsidies from European governments, the effect of which has been to undercut Boeing's prices on commercial aircraft and gain worldwide market share.)
- Directing the Air Force to reconsider the competing tanker proposals and "factor in the subsidies.
- Directing the Air Force to reopen the bidding and allow Boeing to propose building a tanker based on a larger airplane.
- Canceling the EADS-Northrop contract outright.
- Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House subcommitee that oversees military spending, has also warned that he might freezing tanker funds if the contract is not overturned.
As the economy continues to slow and the November election frenzy continues to build, we at Tanker War Blog do not forsee the tanker contract surviving in its current form. The Bush administation has been curiously silent, so we expect it will be left to Congress to carry out the will of the people.