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Webb Releases Hold on Defense Nominees

Sen. Jim Webb announced Thursday that he is dropping his monthlong hold on Defense Department nominees after receiving information from the Pentagon that he said he requested nearly three months ago.

The Virginia Democrat — who is opposed to the department’s decision this year to close the U.S. Joint Forces Command, which is based in Norfolk, Va. — said in a statement that he received information about current and historical staff levels at the department. Webb announced last month that he would hold up Defense nominations until he received such information.

“More than three months ago, following the recommendation to close the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), I asked for a series of comparable historical data related to our analysis of all of these commands and the efficiencies which Secretary Gates is attempting to put into the DoD — efficiencies which I fully support,” Webb said in the statement Thursday. “This basic request should not have taken this amount of time.”

He continued, “The data is highly relevant to our ability to reach our own conclusions in the fulfillment of our constitutional responsibility to assess a proposal that has significant ramifications not only in Virginia but throughout the country and also overseas. We’re going to examine this data. We’re going to have follow-on questions.”

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