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Senate will hold hearings on defense cuts in Va.

Anita Kumar

The Senate Committee on Armed Services has agreed to U.S. Sen. Jim Webb's request to hold a hearing on Defense Secretary Robert Gates's decision to shutter the Joint Forces Command, a military installation employing more than 6,000 in Hampton Roads.

The hearing, which will be scheduled when the Senate reconvenes next month, will also cover the full range of efficiency initiatives announced by Gates.

"Congress has an essential constitutional oversight role in such matters,'' said Webb, who chairs the Senate Committee on Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. "I believe that further action by the President or Secretary Gates should be suspended until Congress has had ample opportunity to review the full scope of the Secretary's actions."

Last week, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, at the request of Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), agreed to hold hearings on Gates's decision to cut the Pentagon's military contracting budget by 10 percent a year for the next three years.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Virginia's congressional delegation has been protesting the Defense Department budget shifts since they were announced by Gates. McDonnell, Webb and Sen. Mark Warner (D) joined a bipartisan group of congressmen from the Hampton Roads area in sending letters challenging Gates's decision to close the Joint Forces Command.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 24, 2010; 6:12 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , James Webb , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell  
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