Tags: Barack Obama | congressmen | probe | arms sale | kenya | obama

Congressmen to Seek Probe of $418M Arms Sale to Kenya on Obama's Final Day

Image: Congressmen to Seek Probe of $418M Arms Sale to Kenya on Obama's Final Day

(Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 02:48 PM

Congressmen are planning to demand an investigation into a $418 million American weapons sale to Kenya approved by the State Department on the Obama administration's last day in office, Breitbart New reports.

The sale, of which Congress was privately notified on Jan. 9 and which was publicly announced a few days after President Donald Trump's inauguration, would permit Kenya to buy 14 weaponized crop-duster-like planes for missions against terrorist group al-Shabaab.

The lawmakers questioning the deal want to know why the contract was awarded to major defense firm L3 Technologies, which has never produced such a plane, while a smaller company in North Carolina, IOMAX USA Inc., which already makes those planes at just over half the price of the deal, was not considered.

IOMAX said it was unaware of the contract until it was publicly announced on Jan. 23.
North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd, who is leading the request for a probe, told Breitbart that "It looks like politics. Why are they sending it to someone that's produced zero, for twice the price? This is inappropriate."

Budd, a Republican, said he and his colleagues unsuccessfully tried to figure out how L3 received the "sole-source" primary contract before considering the demand for an investigation.

Budd said he is concerned that his constituents might have been unjustly cut out of a chance at a lucrative contract, saying "We can't get the deal for them. But we want them to have a fair shot at it … They shouldn't catch the brunt of politics."

Georgia Democrat Rep. Sanford Bishop is joining Republicans in signing a letter to the Kenyan ambassador to the U.S. suggesting that "Kenya would benefit by exploring its options in regard to this acquisition" and informing him of the request for a congressional investigation.

A State Department official justified L3's selection by noting that the Kenyan Ministry of Defense "conducted extensive market research," although the official provided no proof of that.

Even though the 30-day notification period for Congress before a foreign military sale can proceed has ended, congressmen can still halt the sale by passing a resolution of disapproval.

The deal includes up to 12 Air Tractor AT-802L planes and two AT-504 trainer aircraft, Standard Digital reported.

The Air Tractors are reportedly more efficient and are capable of flying closer to conflict zones than Kenya's aging Northrop F-5E fighters.

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Congressmen are planning to demand an investigation into a $418 million American weapons sale to Kenya approved by the State Department on the Obama administration's last day in office, Breitbart New reports.
congressmen, probe, arms sale, kenya, obama
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2017-48-21
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 02:48 PM
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