Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has already been busy this session filling up the Senate docket with legislation on pre-K education and job opportunities for teenagers. But she also knows that if she's going to keep getting Boeing bucks for her Senate campaigns, she got to do what she can to keep the airplane industry alive. (Boeing is Murray's fourth biggest contributor—$46,000 between 2003 and 2008—behind Emily's List, Microsoft Corp. and U.W.)

Murray, who is also on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, teamed up with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) to draft a letter to Obama asking the Air Force to continue buying high tech F-22 fighters on a long-term basis.



The letter, which was signed by 42 other Senators and sent out on Jan. 16, claims the F-22 production line is responsible for $12 billion in revenues and employs over 25,000 Americans. The DOD's current order of F-22's runs out in 2011, and they've has been waffling recently over whether they want to order more.

“Continued F-22 production is critical to both the national security and economic interests of our country,” Murray said in a statement. Boeing is the subcontractor on the F-22.

Saxby "Arrest Every Muslim" Chambliss is the main Senator in the mix because the DOD's decision on the F-22 line puts the economy of Marietta, Ga., where the planes are made, at risk in a Detroity-kind-of-way. Uber-conservative Chambliss not only has the silliest name in all of Congress, but can also brag about probably being one of the only Congresspersons with an "A+" rating from the National Rifle Association (that type of thing is very important in Georgia) and an "F" rating from the National Education Association.

Getting money for high-tech war planes are only part of what Murray's got going these days. In the nascent 111th Congress session, Murray's already got a staggering *five* bills in play. These deal more with early-childhood education and youth employment opportunities and less with killer machines and already have a handful of co-sponsors.
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