Congress to scrutinize rationale for military contracting cuts
A subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold hearings on Defense Secretary Robert Gates' decision to cut the Pentagon's military contracting budget by 10 percent a year for the next three years.
The hearings come in response to a request by U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D), his office said. Connolly requested further congressional oversight into Gates' decision in a letter to the subcommittee's chairwoman sent Wednesday.
"While I commend the Secretary's goal of better controlling defense costs, I question the justification for such actions," he wrote. "These latest proposals no doubt will have significant ramifications on federal management, staffing and procurement, and they deserve tougher scrutiny before we sink additional time and resources into such an effort without having a better idea of whether it will in fact produce the desired results."
Virginia's congressional delegation has been protesting the Defense Department budget shifts since they were announced by Gates on Monday. Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D) questioned whether Gates could shutter the Joint Forces Command, a military installation employing more than 6,000 in the Hampton Roads area, without going through the official Base Realignment and Closure process.
But Connolly and others in Northern Virginia have been focused on the military contracting issue. ""No rationale was given and no analysis was provided to justify such cuts. One trembles at the thought of the disruptions, dislocations, cost overruns, and termination costs associated with such a plan," he said in a statement.
August 12, 2010; 11:47 AM ET
Categories: Gerald E. Connolly , Rosalind Helderman
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