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Sen. Durbin visits Boeing plant, praises deal for new planes

ST. LOUIS - Boeing’s St. Louis facility manufactures the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the E/A-18 Growler, the premier attack aircraft in our military. Thanks to a new federal investment of $4.1 billion over the next four years, those production lines will keep moving.

“What it means for the 14,000 who work in St. Clair, St. Louis, St. Charles…is going to mean longevity,” said US Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

Durbin, the vice chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said Boeing and his team worked very hard to secure the contract. He thanked his bi-state colleagues, Senators Tammy Duckworth, Claire McCaskill, and Roy Blunt.

The production of these jets and Boeing's presence here has an annual economic impact of $1.7 billion for the area, including doing business with more than a thousand Missouri and Illinois suppliers.

“We think there is a bright future to maintain the jobs and some of the competitions that will take place later this year, if they come down in our favor, maybe more,” Durbin said.

While being partial to Boeing, Durbin said investment in defense and information technology is crucial, because you can’t be lazy anymore.

“There's no question we're number one, but we're foolish to ignore the reality that the Chinese are breathing down our necks,” he said.

The US Navy filed a request for 110 new aircraft over the next five years, which Durbin called a huge win for Boeing’s local employees, as well as the St. Louis region’s economy and our military.