Pentagon Wants Investigation of Air Force Lobbying Effort

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June 27, 2008 9:24 a.m.

Was the Air Force lobbying against the Pentagon on Capitol Hill?

This morning The Hill reports:

The Air Force has been ordered to investigate whether officials lobbied members of Congress improperly on a plan to merge military bases.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England asked the secretary of the Air Force –days before he was forced to resign — to conduct an internal investigation after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) raised concerns over the Air Force’s actions.

McCain, the GOP candidate for president, believes a provision in the 2008 emergency supplemental sponsored by Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the leading defense appropriators, was the result of lobbying by Air Force officials. Similar language is in the House bill.

The measure would allow a military service secretary or the head of another federal agency to delay or veto a decision by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) on “joint basing,” an initiative that requires branches of the military to consolidate bases to save money.

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