Forbes willing to examine defense spending
Republican Congressman Randy Forbes‘ district encompasses many parts of Virginia with a heavy military presence. From the Fort Lee Army base to the far-reaching arms of the Navy on the coast, Forbes counts many members of the armed forces and their families among his constituents.
With that in mind, it is not a surprise that Forbes is usually a safe vote for the military in Washington. The website “On The Issues“, a non-partisan tracker of Congressional votes ranks him as someone who “favors” the expansion of the military.
But in the era of bloated budgets and huge deficits, sacred budget cows are being brought for slaughter. That includes the Defense Department which makes up almost a quarter of the federal budget and is often defended by Republicans like Forbes. Today on NBC12 First at 4, Forbes said he is committed to balancing the federal budget and that includes taking a close look at the military.
“Defense spending we need to put on the table,” he said. “But what we need to do is not do this in a closed-door session, like we’re seeing happening now.”
Forbes has been critical of the Secretary Robert Gates who is in the process of shutting down Joint Forces Command Norfolk. The installation employees thousands of people, civilian and military, in the Hampton Roads region. The decision was reached outside of the normal Base Realignment and Closure Commission process.
The incumbent said that when all the spending is brought into the light, cuts can be made that won’t impact the safety of the American people.
“The most important thing we can do with our defense spending is make sure that we’re spending our defense spending based on defense needs, not domestic wants,” he said.
Forbes opponent, Dr. Wynne LeGrow appeared on First at 4 last week. You can see his interview here.
The Republican addressed his reluctance to debate Dr. LeGrow in our interview, which you can see in its entirety below. The full transcript can be found on NBC12.com.