March 3, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Members, Staffers Lead Lobbying on Engines

File Photo
Rep. Tom Rooney (bottom right) will be facing off against senior members of the Armed Services Committee as he attempts to cut funding for an alternate fighter engine.

GE has also brought in managers from more than a dozen of its aviation manufacturing plants around the country. They plan to be on the Hill all this week, GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy said.

They have converged on Washington, he said. They have reached out and met every single new Member of Congress and Senator. Those guys are good at explaining how you save money by competing the engines. We say if we cant more than pay for ourselves, well go home.

Kennedy added that part of the reason the stakes are so high is because the new F-35 is slated to replace about 90 percent of the countrys single-engine fighter planes.

Emotions run high on this, said one lobbyist involved in the fight on Pratts side. It really gets peoples blood boiling.

Rooney, a former prosecutor, said the alternate engine debate often triggers passion, but he pledged to stay calm.

Im not trying to be combative, he said. Once you lose your cool, then youve lost your argument.

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