As DNC Chairman Kaine Backed Obama’s Proposed Defense Cuts In Hampton Roads
As President Obama campaigns in Virginia today, where he will be joined on the trail by his former hand-picked DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is asking Kaine whether he will continue to stand with the Obama Administration as massive defense cuts loom over Virginia just as he has done in the past.
“As President Obama and Chairman Kaine travel to Norfolk today, at the same time massive defense cuts loom over Virginia’s military bases, it reminds Virginians that Kaine has a record of putting his loyalty to President Obama ahead of Virginia jobs,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Brian Walsh said today. “Given the fact that neither President Obama nor Senate Democrats have yet to put forward a plan on these proposed cuts, Virginians are rightfully left to wonder if Kaine still believes that ‘everything has to be on the table’ when it comes to cutting Virginia’s military resources.”
The Republican-led House of Representatives voted in May to replace these devastating cuts with common-sense spending cuts and reforms. But as House Speaker John Boehner’s office reminds Virginians today, both the president and Senate Democrats have rejected the solutions in the House bill, and the Obama administration refuses to respond to requests from Congress on how it plans to implement the military cuts, as well as how specific federal programs and activities would be affected.
The Virginia-Pilot has called these cuts “a ticking time bomb to America’s national defense capability.”
Unfortunately this isn’t the first time Tim Kaine has stood silently by President Obama’s side while his Administration prepared to kill Virginia defense jobs and resources. Instead of sticking up for his home state in 2010, Kaine eagerly carried the Obama Administration’s water in promoting the closure of the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) in the Hampton Roads area of the Commonwealth – a measure universally rejected by Virginia’s political figures, including Senator Jim Webb.
When given the opportunity to stand up and defend this important part of Virginia’s economy, Kaine instead declared that “everything has got to be on the table” despite his admission that “it would have an effect on jobs, no doubt about it.”
Kaine’s loyalty to the President’s agenda stood in stark contrast to the Virginia congressional delegation, and particularly both Democratic Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner, who voiced their strenuous opposition to the proposed cuts.
FLASHBACK – Kaine’s Reaction To Closing JFCOM Was
“Everything Has To Be On The Table”
An Advisory Group To The Pentagon Recommended The Elimination Of The Joint Forces Command Based In The Hampton Roads Area Of Virginia. “The Hampton Roads-based Joint Forces Command could be headed for extinction if Defense Secretary Robert Gates adopts the recommendation of a Pentagon board to eliminate it. A draft report issued by the Defense Business Board, an advisory group of former military officers and executives, calls for downsizing combatant commands, ‘beginning with the elimination of JFCOM.’” (Julian Walker, “Board Suggests Joint Forces Be Closed As Part Of Defense Cuts,” The Virginian-Pilot, 7/24/10)
Reaction Of Virginia Congressional Delegation To JFCOM Closing
July 2010: Webb And Other Members Of Virginia’s Congressional Delegation Issued A Joint Statement That Expressed Support For Defense Savings, But Said “Doing It At The Expense Of The Command That Is Leading The Charge For The Future Of Our Military Training Efforts Would Be A Step Backward And Could Be Harmful To The Capabilities Of The Finest Military In The World.” “Virginia Reps. Rob Wittman, Glenn Nye, Bobby Scott, Randy Forbes and Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner jointly issued a statement expressing support for the search for defense savings, but arguing that ‘doing it at the expense of the command that is leading the charge for the future of our military training efforts would be a step backward and could be harmful to the capabilities of the finest military in the world.’” (Julian Walker, “Board Suggests Joint Forces Be Closed As Part Of Defense Cuts,” The Virginian-Pilot, 7/24/10)
August 2010: Webb And Other Members Of The Virginia Congressional Delegation Sent A Letter To Defense Secretary Gates “Calling Into Question The Strategic And Legal Basis For His Recommendation To Eliminate The U.S. Joint Forces Command.” “Virginia Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner and Congressmen Glenn Nye, Randy Forbes, Rob Wittman, and Bobby Scott today sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates calling into question the strategic and legal basis for his recommendation to eliminate the U.S. Joint Forces Command.” (Senator Jim Webb, “Virginia Delegation Challenges Recommendation To Close JFCOM,” Press Release, 8/13/10)
The Letter Noted That, In The Delegation’s View, The Closing Of JFCOM Would Result In, Among Other Things, “A Significant Adverse Economic Impact In The Hampton Roads Region.” “Citing the guidance of legal counsel, the delegation challenged the legality of Secretary Gates’ ‘apparent strategy to eliminate the command without complying with the provisions of Title 10 U.S. Code, Section 2687 or, alternatively, to propose the command’s elimination be considered as part of a Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) process.’ In the delegation’s view, eliminating the command would result in a number of substantial adverse consequences, including ‘…the future erosion of our military’s joint warfighting capabilities, the dismissal of thousands of highly skilled civilian federal employees and defense contractors, and a significant adverse economic impact in the Hampton Roads region.’” (Senator Jim Webb, “Virginia Delegation Challenges Recommendation To Close JFCOM,” Press Release, 8/13/10)
But While Senator Webb & Other Members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation Stood Up For Virginia Jobs, This Is What Tim Kaine Said…..
August 2010: But When Asked About Closing Down Joint Forces Command In The Norfolk Region, Kaine Said “Everything Has To Be On The Table.” O’LEARY: “Well, we’ll see whether their bets are right come November. I’ve got one other question for you in your – . . . – old back yard, the Joint Forces Command. Every single Virginia politician has come out and criticized that decision, saying it would kill jobs in the Norfolk region. What’s your take?” KAINE: “Well, it would have an effect on jobs, no doubt about it. And I don’t think Secretary Gates has any illusions about that either. And the Joint Forces Command has been an incredibly important aspect of Virginia in terms of our huge number of military installations and the work that’s done there. On the other hand, there is a crying need, expressed by the public and also expressed by Congress, for this President to address the deficit. He has already done it with Secretary Gates in a number of military weapons systems. There’s a bipartisan deficit commission that’s working. And the President has said everything has got to be on the table. If we’re going to deal with the federal base budget and the deficit, everything has to be on the table.” (Bloomberg’s “Political Capital,” 8/13/10)