Aug 10, 2010 8:21 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Lawmakers are reacting swiftly and fiercely to news that the Pentagon's belt-tightening could mean lost military jobs in their districts.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to shutter a major command that employs some 5,000 people around Norfolk, Va., and to eliminate other jobs throughout the military. Gates says the money saved is needed elsewhere within the Defense Department to repair a force ravaged by years of war.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, said eliminating Norfolk's Joint Forces Command would deal a devastating blow to the state, and would come amid what he sees as runaway federal spending on lower priorities.
Democrats, including Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb of Virginia, also condemned the move. Warner said he could see "no rational basis" for eliminating a command created to improve the services' ability to work together and find efficiencies.