Pennsylvania Representative Strong Backer Of The Raptor
Pennsylvania Congressman John
Murtha (D) died Monday from complications following gall bladder
surgery at a hospital in Maryland just outside Washington, DC. The
congressman was 77 years old.
Murtha, who chaired the House Appropriations Defense
Subcommittee, had been a strong advocate of the F-22 Raptor and
other defense programs. He had tried to have money put back in the
FY2010 defense budget to produce more of the planes, but the final
budget ended the program without extending it.
Murtha had also been a proponent of splitting the replacement
KC-X tanker contract between Airbus and Boeing. As ANN reported in December, he advocated a plan
that would have had the winning bidder build two tankers per month,
while the losing bidder would have built one. Murtha had expressed
concern about Northrop Grumman's decision to pull out of the tanker
competition, saying “I can’t imagine they can do it
without competition.” His likely replacement as chair of the
subcommittee, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) supports Boeing's bid in the
Murtha had served 19 terms in Congress. Some political analysts
indicate that the seat may now be competitive, and a special
election is likely within three months.