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Senators prod Obama on behalf of Boeing

WASHINGTON – Amid fears that Boeing will lose a $35 billion aerial tanker contract to a European competitor, senators from Washington state and Kansas pressured President Barack Obama on Thursday to side with the U.S. aerospace giant, which promises to bring thousands of jobs to the two states if it wins the competition.

“Our economy and our workers cannot afford for this contract and the jobs it will create to go overseas,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., adding that Boeing employees “are hungry for this contract.”

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., implored “everybody who’s out there tweeting, chirping and Facebooking” to contact the White House immediately and stress the importance of getting the Air Force to award the contract to Chicago-based Boeing.

“It is in the national interest that we ought to do this,” Roberts said. “The Air Force ought to pay attention to that. … Our workers in Kansas and Wichita stand at the ready.”

If Boeing wins the contract, the company promises it will create jobs in Washington state and Kansas.

If Boeing loses the contract, the new jobs will go to Mobile, Ala., where the parent company of Airbus, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., promises to build the airplanes.

Business officials and lawmakers from Alabama sound increasingly confident that EADS will get the nod.


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