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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

DeLauro's proposal doesn't get a vote

You have to give Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro credit, she tried her best to save jobs in Connecticut but the House and Rules Committee turned her down.

The 3rd district democrat's proposal would of put a hault to the outsourcing of the construction of presidential helicopter, Marine One to Lockheed Martin and AgustaWestland, an Italian-English company. Her proposal also would of saved the jobs of the construction workers at Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft, the current builders of the helicopter. Unfortunately, the House and Rules committee crushed her proposal before it reached the House floor.

From the Hartford Courant:
Connecticut congressional efforts to revisit the Pentagon's decision to award the Marine One contract to a team that includes foreign companies all but ended Tuesday when House leaders refused to even allow a vote on the issue.

Under a proposal authored by Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3rd District, any companies working on Marine One, the presidential helicopter, would not be allowed to do business with terrorist states.

She also sought to have any component of Marine One approved by the State Department's export control office before it could be sold overseas. The office approves any technology that has or could have a military use.


The delegation's chief hope for changing the decision was to put limits on foreign countries involved in building the helicopter. But with the Bush administration close to Italian and British leaders, and eager to build the new generation of presidential helicopters quickly, that tactic has gone nowhere.

DeLauro tried. She cited a study showing some companies that will build the helicopter have indicated interest in doing business with Iran, North Korea and China, among others.

"The Marine One helicopter is expected to have the most advanced parts, security features, communications equipment and survivability of any rotorcraft in our military's arsenal," DeLauro said Tuesday.

"To allow that technology and equipment to fall into the hands of America's enemies is a risk that none of us should take," she said. "But incredibly, that is exactly what the House Republican leadership has done."

Outsourcing the construction of the President's helicopter doesn't sound very American. How is rewarding the helicopter contract to companies overseas benefit the United States when the result of the outsourcing will be American workers losing their jobs?