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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Monday, June 25, 2007

    Lawmakers question Boeing on delays of border fence

    The first phase of the project involves building nine towers that are dotted along 28 miles of the Arizona-Mexico border, and bracket the Sasabe, Ariz., port of entry.

    Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, in September won a three-year, $67 million contract to install the fence, the initial step in a multibillion-dollar plan to reduce illegal entry along 6,000 miles of U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico.

    At the hearing on June 7, no problems or delays on so-called Project 28 were mentioned. But the next day Homeland Security officials notified congressional staff of a one-week lag caused by radar problems, according to a letter questioning how and when Congress was informed.

    The letter was sent Tuesday to Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., chairwoman of the subcommittee that held the hearing.

    "It is unacceptable that the department chose to disclose this information via telephone to committee staff, rather than providing a thorough assessment of the project's status directly to committee members at the hearing," the letter says.

    Homeland spokesman Russ Knocke said Boeing did not tell the department about the radar issues, which were identified on the day of the subcommittee hearing, until June 8 when the information was promptly passed to the committee.

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