Sen. Begich looks to block Air Force restructuring until after congressional review

In the letter, Begich wrote that he was seeking Levin and McCain's "consideration for prohibiting any funds authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 from being obligated or expended for force structure decisions made by the Air Force until adequate information is provided… ."

The GAO is reviewing DOD's proposed budget cuts in defense spending to determine how much money the changes will save. Levin and McCain have already asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta not to take irreversible actions related to DOD structuring until Congress appropriates funds. Begich said he supports that request, particularly as it relates to the Air Force.

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"While I am mindful of budget constraints, the force structure changes proposed by the Air Force warrant serious scrutiny by Congress to ensure they are in the best interest of national security and the best use of taxpayer dollars," Begich wrote in the letter.

Last week, the Armed Service Committee held a hearing on the Air Force's 2013 budget request. Begich, a member of the committee, has complained that the Air Force is not being as forthcoming with information as it should.

"Information provide to Congress by the Air Force regarding its proposed changes has been inconsistent and insufficient, lacking the details and assessments required to conduct adequate oversight and make informed decisions," he wrote.

The committee markup of the National Defense Authorization Act is scheduled for mid-May.