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HASC Subcommittee Reshuffle Could be Coming

Rep. Buck McKeon, chair of the House Armed Services Committee and his committee staff are considering restructuring the specialized subcommittees that make up the panel, according to Rep. Todd Akin, chair of what's currently the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces subcommittee.

Apparently, the seapower panel may lose its jurisdiction over Navy and Marine Corps tactical jets such as F/A-18s while gaining strategic bombers and airlifters such as C-17, making it into something like the sea power and projection subcommittee, said Akin to a group of reporters during a speech at a Surface Navy Association conference in Arlington, Va.

If this happens, tactical aviation assets like the F/A-18s would go to the air-land subcommittee, he said.

In a speech promising to fight for increased defense budgets in the coming years, the Missouri congressman also called for a broader reorganization of the House of Representatives, saying that the appropriations committees should be gotten rid of and their power of the purse given to the various authorizers responsible for the oversight of government programs.

He also said that he believed the Marine Corps leadership when it told him that it could not afford the now-cancelled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.  "We've been convinced they genuinely believe it's too expensive," given current budget constraints, said Akin.

He went on to say that the Pentagon and Congress will now have to look at buying a newer, cheaper alternative to the EFV.

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