McDonnell Continues Opposition to Command Closing
As reported yesterday, Governor Bob McDonnell and the Virginia Congressional delegation are speaking out about U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ recommendation to close the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk. Later yesterday, the Governor resumed his opposition.
In a report issued Monday, Secretary Gates called for the closing of the Joint Forces Command or JFCom, which would lead to the elimination of 5,000 jobs at the Norfolk facility.
Governor Bob McDonnell called the announcement mind-boggling.
McDonnell: There has been massive new spending on social programs and entitlement programs over the last year and a half with this Democratic Congress, and they’ve got to find ways to pay for it; unfortunately, they’re looking for a hundred billion dollars in defense department cuts in order to do that. That’s absolutely the wrong decision. We’ve got a two-front war, in Afghanistan and Iraq, we’ve got North Korea and China building up their military, and we’re cutting our military back. It’s not the right decision, and certainly not good for Virginia.
Secretary Gates has also called for a three-year reduction in defense contracting. Currently, there are 12,500 defense contractors in the Commonwealth.
Virginia’s bipartisan Congressional delegation is serving as a unified front in support of JFCom, though their options are limited. Congressional approval is not required for the closing to proceed.
Virginia is second in the nation, next to California, in dollars invested toward national defense.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square