The bid accepted by the Army from a company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin is being re-evaluated in light of practical considerations. Sometimes the lowest bid is not the most responsible option. In this case, BAE Systems in Sealy, Texas has held the contract for making medium tactical vehicles for the Army for seventeen years. The contract is to be worth $2.8 billion.
GAO awarded the contract this time to a different company - one that bid 30% lower but didn't take into consideration if the winner could start from scratch in this production and still come in at the lower price. Thanks to the work of Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, fighting to keep the 3,000 jobs in Sealy, GAO and the Army are now to make a revised decision soon. All indications point to the contract being awarded to BAE again.
It should be noted that Navistar also put in a competitive bid and has protested the Army's award, too.
Using a carrot and stick approach, the Texas senators said that a nomination for a new Army acquisition chief would be held up if the Army didn't reconsider their bid award. Malcolm Ross O'Neill was nominated December 3 by President Obama for that position.
Also along the lines of military support recognition, on December 15, an op-ed written by Ross Perot ran in the Dallas Morning News. Perot points to his work with Senator Hutchison for military veterans. In particular, Perot points out working with her on issues for veterans of Operation Desert shield and Desert storm. She directed $15 million toward research resulting in the VA's Gulf War Research Committee which researches causes and treatment of Gulf War Syndrome.
She has been actively supporting the changes that have been made to the Dallas VA medical center which meet needs for mental health issues. And she authored legislation which resulted in the national Military Family Association awarding her the "Legislator of the Year" for passing the survivor benefits for families of servicemen and women killed during significant years of active duty, but less than 20years needed for full military retirement.
Another point that Perot made is that Senator Hutchison stopped the practice of the government collecting VA debts from survivors of military killed in action. Plus, she ended the policy that deducted the amount of payments for medical disabilities from retirement pay earned by those disabled veterans with 20 or more years of service.
She fought for retired military to have access to TRICARE health care benefits for life and expanded benefits for veterans for college education in the new GI Bill.
Senator Hutchison continues to prove she is a strong supporter and friend of our military members and their families.