Nye, Webb push legislation to block or delay JFCOM closure
Update 4:35 p.m.
Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) introduced a bill Wednesday to stop or delay Obama administration plans to close the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk and Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) pledged to do the same, the latest salvos in state leaders' effort to halt the move.
Members of Virginia's congressional delegation have been fighting the Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' proposal since it was unveiled in August, complaining that it would weaken the nation's defense capabilities while also dealing a major blow to the economy in the Hampton Roads region.
"This legislation is going to force Secretary Gates to do what he should have done from the beginning," Nye said in a Wednesday press release. "Since the Secretary made his announcement six weeks ago, no one has seen any sort of documentation or analysis validating the elimination of JFCOM."
Similarly, Webb said, "I will be introducing legislation to require the Secretary of Defense to provide full justification to Congress before any action is taken to close the Joint Forces Command. This is fully consistent with Congress's constitutional oversight responsibility as we work to improve our military's joint warfare capabilities and operations."
At a meeting of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's (R) new statewide military commission last week, McDonnell joined members of the congressional delegation in vowing to fight the planned closure, as well as proposed cuts in the Pentagon's contracting budget that would have a big impact on Virginia. The cuts are part of a broad plan by Gates to save more than $100 billion over the next five years.
While McDonnell's event last week was bipartisan, the issue has become the subject of partisan debate in the 2nd congressional district race, where the freshman Nye is fighting to preserve JFCOM as some Republicans accuse him of lacking sufficient clout on the Hill.
September 15, 2010; 3:55 PM ET
Categories: Ben Pershing , Glenn Nye , James Webb , Robert F. McDonnell
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