Bipartisan Virginia congressional delegation protests planned military cut
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.
August 13, 2010; 2:38 PM ET
Categories: Glenn Nye , James Webb , Mark Warner , Rob Wittman , Rosalind Helderman
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Posted by: CareyCampbell | August 13, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse