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Webb to put hold on Pentagon appointments until JFCOM data arrives

Rosalind Helderman

Sen. Jim Webb (D) has alerted the Department of Defense that he will put a hold on all civilian and flag officer nominations until he gets more information about the decision-making process to Secretary Robert Gates' recommendation that the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk be shuttered.

The move elevates Webb's demand for information from the Obama administration and comes just a week before the midterm elections. The decision by the Obama administration's defense secretary to close JFCOM as a cost-saving measure has been a major campaign issue in a race between Democrat Rep. Glenn Nye and Republican Scott Rigell.

Members of Virginia's congressional delegation of both parties
have said they were blindsided when Gates announced the recommendation, part of a plan to trim the Pentagon's budget in coming years. They have subpoened the Defense Department, insisting that the Pentagon has been stonewalling their request for more information about how the decision was reached.

"This failure to respond to a request for basic information that should be readily available is indicative of the lack of cooperation that has characterized the proposal to close the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM)," said a statement from Webb, a former Secretary of the Navy. "Such data is highly relevant to our ability to reach our own conclusions in the fulfillment of our constitutional responsibility to assess a proposal that has significant ramifications not only in Virginia but throughout the country and also overseas."

By Rosalind Helderman  | October 25, 2010; 5:24 PM ET
Categories:  Glenn Nye, James Webb, Rosalind Helderman, Scott Rigell  
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