For Boeing, Answers Could Come Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Air Force could explain to Boeing as soon as tomorrow why it awarded a 35 billion-dollar tanker contract to rival French plane maker Airbus.

Two top lawmakers from Washington state said Tuesday night that the Air Force agreed to move up a debriefing to Thursday from the originally planned date of March 12th. Like Kansas, Washington stood to gain many jobs had Boeing won the tanker deal.

The Kansas congressional delegation Tuesday asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to suspend its award of the contract until Congress can review the decision.

Boeing has been supplying air-to-air refueling tankers to the Air Force for nearly 50 years and was widely expected to win the deal. Boeing would have performed much of the tanker work in Wichita and Everett, Washington.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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