Dec 11 2013 Washington lawmakers ramp up the pressure to keep Boeing in the state

Washington state lawmakers are stepping up efforts to keep Boeing and its billion dollar airplane manufacturing plant in Everett.

In a Dec. 9 letter to Boeing leadership, the bipartisan delegation that includes Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and 10 Representatives touts the state's history with Boeing and its plans for the future.

"Washington is the aerospace capital of the world, and our delegation is committed to ensuring that the aerospace industry can continue to grow in Washington state," the lawmakers wrote. "While we recognize that the Boeing Company faces an increasingly competitive environment and must undertake a thorough process to determine where to place production, we are confident that a full analysis of options will show that Washington state stands apart from the competition."

The delegation - which refers to itself as the "aerospace industry's strongest allies and loudest advocates in Congress" - said the state has proven its commitment to Boeing despite the recent contract rejection by a machinists union that has led the union to shop around production of the next-generation 777X.

Alabama is one about 15 states vying for the facility. Boeing has met with Alabama officials about locating the plant in Huntsville, where is already has a sizeable engineering presence.

The Herald of Everett, Wash. said the following states had publicly announcedthey would make a bid for Boeing: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

The Washington lawmakers point to their work on behalf of Boeing in the fight to land the Air Force's KC-46A Refueling Tanker contract, the 2012 reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and their work to land a $20 million federal workforce grant to train more than 2,600 workers in advanced aerospace assembly.

"As our delegation's support illustrates, support for aerospace manufacturing in Washington is not just statewide, it is miles wide and miles deep," lawmakers wrote.

Washington lawmakers aren't the only ones courting the aerospace giant. Alabama lawmakers sent their second letter yesterday touting the benefits of bringing the plant to Huntsville.

Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions and Reps. Robert Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Spencer Bachus, Mike Rogers, Martha Roby and Terri Sewell issued the following statement Tuesday:

"Huntsville is a world leader in aerospace and aviation innovation, and Alabama's workforce is second to none. There is simply no better place for Boeing to locate its new 777X design, manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly operations. We commend the city and state for so aggressively pursuing this economic development opportunity and stand ready to support these efforts in any way possible."

The battle for Boeing has emerged to the forefront in states hoping to land the facility.