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Rep. Rob Bishop says Robert Gates must prove cuts won’t harm military

SHARE Rep. Rob Bishop says Robert Gates must prove cuts won’t harm military

WASHINGTON — Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, says defending the U.S. is a major constitutional responsibility, and any cuts Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is proposing had better not impact the ability of the country to defend itself.

On Monday, Gates announced initiatives to increase efficiency in the Department of Defense with a goal to change the culture of military spending.

"My hope and expectation is that the efforts we have launched will lead to the kind of cultural changes that over time become part of this department's DNA and institutional memory," Gates said in a statement.

Gates' proposals include eliminating a number of government contractors; reviewing all boards and commissions; freezing the number of jobs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and defense agencies; reducing the number of executive officers, general and flag officers; cutting the costs allocated for research studies; and eliminating two organizations.

Gates also recommended the closure of Joint Forces Command.

Bishop, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, told KSL Radio that it's too early to know how those proposals could affect military installations in Utah. He said it's frustrating that since Democrats took control of Congress, spending in the federal budget has increased in nearly every area, except defense.

Cuts have been made to the F-22 program and to missile defense, Bishop said.

"The secretary needs to prove this will not have a negative impact on this country," Bishop said. "I want to make sure what we do does not harm the military."

— Joseph M. Dougherty