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Originally published Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Reaction to Pentagon's plan to re-bid tanker contract

"There must now be a real bid, not a rehash; a rebid that protects our national security, shields the American taxpayer from operating and ..."

"There must now be a real bid, not a rehash; a rebid that protects our national security, shields the American taxpayer from operating and infrastructure costs, and buys a tanker that can refuel the entire fleet... Congress must play a strong oversight role."

Maria Cantwell — U.S. Senator (D-Wa.)

""We've already won the competition once, and we will again... The fight isn't over."

Stephen Nodine — Mobile County Commission President

"Secretary of Defense Gates has taken the GAO's recommendations seriousl... he has stepped in to get the selection process back on track. Today's announcement brought common sense back to the tanker selection process."

Rick Larsen — U.S. Representative, D-Lake Stevens

"We welcome the decision by Defense Secretary Robert Gates… However, we remain concerned that a renewed Request for Proposals (RFP) may include changes that significantly alter the selection criteria as set forth in the original solicitation. As the Government Accountability Office reported in upholding our protest, we submitted the only proposal that fully met the mandatory criteria of the original RFP."

Boeing Co. statement

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"The United States Air Force has already picked the best tanker, and we are confident that it will do so again. Our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.The Northrop Grumman KC-45 tanker is needed now and is ready now."

Randy Belote — Northrop Grumman spokesman

""There have been critical errors in the procurement of this tanker, and we will work to ensure that this does not happen again.... We will need to see the details of the next request for proposal, but this is certainly the right step forward."

Pat Roberts — U.S. Senator (R-Kan.)

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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