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Bipartisan Virginia congressional delegation protests planned military cut

Rosalind Helderman

Virginia's U.S. senators joined a bipartisan group of congressmen from the Hampton Roads area Friday in signing a letter challenging Defense Secretary Robert Gates's decision this week to close the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk.

In the letter to Gates, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D) and Jim Webb (D) and U.S. Reps. Glenn Nye (D), Randy Forbes (R), Rob Wittman (R) and Bobby Scott (D) write of their "deep disappointment and concern" with the decision, part of broad reaching defense department budget shifts intended to trim $100 billion from the Pentagon's growing budget.

Beyond expressing concern for the economy of the Hampton Roads area if the 6,000-employee command closes, they write that they fear the military will lose out on the joint service branch coordination pioneered and perfected by the combat command if it is eliminated. They also question the thoroughness of the review conducted by the Defense Business Board, the panel that first recommended JFCOM's closure to Gates.

And they indicate that legal counsel has advised them that the closure of JFCOM should be subjected the government's long-ranging Base Realignment and Closure process, a legal issue that Webb first raised earlier this week.

The letter represents a ratcheting up of the bipartisan pushback to Gates' proposals. It's unclear whether the delegation has any real recourse but it's hard to imagine the Obama administration is not at least paying attention to the rhetoric coming from Democrats in very purple Virginia on this issue.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 13, 2010; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  Glenn Nye , James Webb , Mark Warner , Rob Wittman , Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

This topic sure to be hot in debates...

The Independent Greens of Virginia http://www.VoteJoinRun.US

3rd congressional district chairman, and candidate for Congress John Kelly has received, and accepted an invitation to a debate.

Debate sponsors are the League of Women Voters, and WHRO Radio & TV.

John D. Kelly is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, husband, and father.

The Indy Greens advocate for "More Candidates, Less Apathy", "More Trains, Less Traffic" - build high speed rail across Virginia, and America. "Fiscally Conservative, Socially Responsible". Balance the Federal Budget and Pay off the Federal Debt. Install and auditable accounting system at the Pentagon. Stop no bid uncontested contracts.

The debate is October 15th.

Posted by: CareyCampbell | August 13, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

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