Merci, Jean LeCain

The Facts About McCain and Airbus

Throughout his career, John McCain has led a crusade against the American worker. He has made it one of his top legislative priorities to allow the Department of Defense to use companies that operate overseas, rather than here in America. One result is that a $35 billion contract for Air Force tankers has been awarded to the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, the parent company of Airbus, instead of to Boeing, an American competitor.

McCain has portrayed his role as that of a vigilant government official protecting the public purse. But the facts paint a different picture, such as his relationship with John Green, who is now a top McCain campaign official. Green has profited immensely by lobbying on behalf of Airbus and other foreign companies in the halls of Congress. So have at least two other lobbyists now associated with the McCain campaign.

His close association with lobbyists for EADS and his opposition to legislation that would use American defense dollars to create American jobs shows that he is not interested in defending the interests of workers at home but is perfectly happy to send jobs, and a significant share of our defense manufacturing capacity, abroad.

McCain Prevented Contract From Staying In America

McCain Wrote The Law That Allows Defense Contracts To Be Awarded To Foreign Companies. In 2004, McCain proposed and voted for an amendment to allow the Secretary of Defense to waive the application of any domestic source requirements with respect to items that are grown, reprocessed, reused, produced or manufactured in seven foreign countries that have a “declaration of principles” with the United States. The amendment passed 54-46. [S 2400, Vote #135 , 6/22/04]

McCain Voted Against Encouraging Defense Contracts To Be Executed In The United States. In 1996, McCain voted to table an amendment requiring defense contractors to indicate on contracts what percentage of the contract would be manufactured in the United States. The amendment would also have required that the Department of Defense treat this as an important factor when awarding contracts. The motion to table passed 69-21. [S 1894, Vote # 194 , 7/17/96]

McCain “Trashed” Provisions That Encouraged American Defense Contracts. According to Congressional Quarterly Weekly, “As it almost always does, the Defense appropriations bill for the coming year contains a raft of new Buy American constraints, most of them narrowly drawn. Arizona Republican John McCain took to the Senate floor earlier this month to trash these provisions, but it’s so commonplace to enact such things that his words may have fallen on deaf ears.” [CQ Weekly, 2/15/06]

McCain Allies Made Millions Lobbying For EADS

Lobbyist Connections Casts McCain’s Crusade against Boeing Under a Cloud. McCain cried foul when Boeing was awarded a $30 billion tanker contract in 2001 without a competitive bid [The Oregonian, 3/1/08 ] and ‘nearly single-handedly killed the firm’s multi-billion dollar deal’ to lease 100 Boeing air tankers” in 2004 [The Everett Herald, 2/5/08 ]. But the Associated Press noted that among his top presidential campaign staffers are lobbyists for Boeing’s competitor, EADS. And McCain has received $14,000 from EADS employees, more than any member of Congress. [Associated Press, 3/11/08 ]

McCain Hired Lobbyist John Green. McCain has hired John Green, of Ogilvy Government Relations, to “coordinate his message and travel schedule with congressional Republicans.” Green and his partner, Wayne Berman, have continued to lobby members of congress on McCain’s behalf. [Politico, 3/4/08 ]

EADS Has Paid Green’s Firm $1,080,000 Since 2003. Among the work done by Ogilvy Government Relations was lobbying on behalf of European Aeronautic Defense and Space on the Air Force fuel tanker contract. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Reports; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3/4/08 ]

Tom Loeffler Lobbied for EADS While Helping McCain. A top McCain ally, Tom Loeffler, lobbied Congress on behalf of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co, the parent company of Airbus. EADS recently “beat Boeing to a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract.” [Associated Press, 3/11/08 ]

EADS Paid The Loeffler Group $220,000 To Lobby On Fuel Tankers In 2007. The European Aeronautical Defense and Space Co. paid the Loeffler Group $220,000 to lobby government officials on “initiatives and interests regarding the KC-30 Aerial Refueling Tanker Program.” [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Reports]

Susan Nelson, McCain’s Close Ally, Served As a Lobbyist For EADS. The Associated Press wrote, “According to lobbying records filed with the Senate, Loeffler Group lobbyists on the project included Loeffler and Susan Nelson.” Nelson resigned her post as a lobbyist to assist McCain in other endeavors. [Associated Press, 3/11/08 ]

EADS Paid Susan Nelson’s Employer $220,000 To Lobby On Fuel Tankers In 2007. The European Aeronautical Defense and Space Co. paid Susan Nelson’s employer, the Loeffler Group, $220,000 for her lobbying of government officials on “initiatives and interests regarding the KC-30 Aerial Refueling Tanker Program.” [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Reports]
Plagued By Hypocrisy

RHETORIC: McCain Defended His Position By Saying He Favors “Fair and Open” Competition. In response to questions regarding the Boeing tanker deal, McCain defended his position by saying, “Having investigated the tanker lease scandal a few years ago, I have always insisted that the Air Force buy major weapons through fair and open competition.” [Associated Press, 3/4/08 ]

FACT: McCain Voted Against Allowing Competition For Defense Contracts. In 2002, McCain voted to kill a Kennedy amendment that would allow private and public agencies to compete for new Defense Department contracts based on current department standards. It also would codify a contracting prohibition on work currently performed in the public sector unless the agency can show a savings of at least 10 percent. Motion to table passed 50-49. [S 2514, Vote #162 , 6/25/2002]

RHETORIC: McCain Said He Was Interested To Learn How Defense Contract Was Awarded To European Companies. While commenting on a potentially $35 billion Air Force contract awarded to European Aeronautic Defense and Space, McCain said, “I will be interested to learn how the Air Force came to its contract award decision here, and whether it fairly applied its own rules in arriving at that decision.” Both Obama and Clinton have criticized the contract because Northrop-Grumman’s principal subcontractor is Europe-based Airbus. [Forbes, 3/4/08 ]

FACT: McCain Wrote The Law That Allows Defense Contracts To Be Awarded To Foreign Companies. In 2004, McCain proposed and voted for an amendment to allow the Secretary of Defense to waive the application of any domestic source requirements with respect to items that are grown, reprocessed, reused, produced or manufactured in seven foreign countries that have a “declaration of principles” with the United States. The amendment passed 54-46. [S 2400, Vote #135 , 6/22/04]

FACT: McCain Voted Against Encouraging Defense Contracts To Be Executed In The United States. In 1996, McCain voted to table an amendment requiring defense contractors to indicate on contracts what percentage of the contract would be manufactured in the United States. The amendment would also have required that the Department of Defense treat this as an important factor when awarding contracts. The motion to table passed 69-21. [S 1894, Vote # 194 , 7/17/96]

McCain Received Criticism For Trashing Boeing Deal From Both Sides Of The Aisle

Republican Senator Sam Brownback Called For A Full Debriefing From Secretary of Defense. Senator Sam Brownback, a strong support of McCain, has “voiced his astonishment at the ‘outsourcing’ of plane production to Europe, calling for a full debriefing from the Secretary of Defense and adding that he expected Boeing to protest the decision.” [Forbes, 3/3/08 ]

Senator Patty Murray Called It A “European Stimulus Plan.” Speaking about the Northrop-Grumman contract, Sen. Patty Murray said, “We need to be investing in the American aerospace industry and the high-wage, high-skill jobs it supports. The Airbus contract is a European stimulus plan subsidized by the American taxpayer.” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3/4/08]

McCain Backer: “I Cannot Believe We Would Create French Jobs.” Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt who supports McCain, said, “We should have an American tanker built by an American company with American workers. I cannot believe we would create French jobs in place of Kansas jobs.” [Forbes, 3/3/08 ]

Murtha Accused McCain Of Slowing Down The Air Force’s Effort To Replace Aging Tankers. While discussing the tanker contract during a Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the issue, Congressman Murtha said, “We know what happened. We know this is costing billions of dollars. We are in a terrible position. You are putting us in a position – when I say you – the country is in a position where because of the individual in the other body [McCain], stopping what we, the Air Force and this committee agreed to do, it’s costing billions of dollars and we are at a point where we don’t know how long it is going to take to get these things out in the air.” [New York Times, 3/5/08 ]

Speaker Pelosi Said The Airbus Contract Raises Serious Questions. “The Air Force’s decision to award the contract for a much-needed modernization of the nation’s aerial tanker fleet to Northrop Grumman and Airbus raises serious questions that Congress must examine thoroughly,” Speaker Pelosi said. The Speaker went on to question the “national security implications of using an aircraft supplied by a foreign firm,” and whether the Air Force considered the contract’s effect on American jobs. [Associated Press, 3/4/08 ]

Emanuel Said McCain Should Have Reformed Boeing Deal Rather Than Send It To France. While discussing McCain’s role in the Air Force’s decision to award a $40 billion dollar contract to a French company, Congressman Rahm Emanuel said, “He could have reformed the contract that Boeing got rather than reopening it and sending the jobs to France.” [The Hill, 3/6/08 ]

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