WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The Senate Armed Services Committee delayed a vote yesterday on the Air Force's $21 billion plan to lease 100 planes from Boeing Co.
Committee Chairman Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.)suggested a scaled-back version instead, and told the Washington Post that he will ask Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to study a proposal to lease up to 25 of the refueling tankers and purchase the remainder through the normal procurement process. The committee will not make a decision on the Air Force's lease proposal until a review of the alternative is completed, a committee spokesman said.
The Air Force had proposed leasing all 100 planes and purchasing them as the leases expired. "I am concerned that if this matter is approved as submitted . . . it will establish a precedent and we can see a reoccurrence of this type of end run -- I call it a Hail Mary pass -- around the budget process," said Warner.