Hagel defends proposed cuts in defense spending

THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2013, 7:51 A.M.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is defending President Barack Obama’s proposed cuts to the military as the Pentagon faces deficit-driven smaller budgets.

Hagel told the House Armed Services Committee Thursday that while the system to close domestic bases is imperfect, it’s a comprehensive and fair approach that will result in significant savings in the long term.

The Pentagon wants another base closing round in 2015. Lawmakers have repeatedly rejected the Defense Department’s plea.

Hagel also called for an increase in fees for military health care and a smaller pay raise of 1 percent for personnel.

He said the department is undergoing a far-reaching review to be completed by May 1 and indicated that further cuts are possible.

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