GOP senator presses for hearing on Chattanooga shooting

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs Senate moves to start negotiations on defense policy bill The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Anticipation builds for Trump’s SCOTUS pick MORE (R-Okla.) is asking the leaders of the Senate Armed Services to look into the Pentagon’s effort to increase security at military installations following last week’s deadly shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

The shooting that killed four Marines and one sailor “again raised great concerns with me about the security of our service members in and out of uniform, civilian employees, and their dependents,” Inhofe said Monday in a letter to Armed Services chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 Overnight Defense: Fears rise over Trump-Putin summit | McCain presses Trump to hold Putin 'accountable' for hacking | Pentagon does damage control after NATO meet MORE (R-Ariz.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one Schumer: Trump should cancel meeting with Putin Senate votes to support NATO ahead of Trump summit MORE (R.I.), the panel’s top Democrat.

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Inhofe, himself a member of the powerful committee, asked the pair to “schedule a hearing as soon as possible on the efforts the Department of Defense (DOD) is reviewing and/or taking regarding force protection of its service members and their families.” 

Last Thursday, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born citizen, opened fire at a Navy recruiting center in Chattanooga and then at a Navy and Marines Reserve Center, according to law enforcement.

The rampage sparked a quick response from Capitol Hill lawmakers with McCain and House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) declaring that the defense policy bill they are currently working on would direct the Pentagon to "end the disconnect between the threats our warfighters face and their families face and the tools they have to defend themselves."

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK Beto O'Rourke is dominating Ted Cruz in enthusiasm and fundraising — but he's still headed for defeat GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Texas), a 2016 presidential contender and a member of the Armed Services panel, also called for hearings on allowing troops to carry arms in military facilities, a cause he has taken up in the past.

"We can immediately hold hearings in the Senate Armed Services Committee on the need for our enlisted men and women to have the right to be armed in military facilities," he said.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE GOP senator: Trump admin's handling of migrant family reunification 'boggles my mind' GOP senator says sanctions against Russia aren’t working ‘that well’ after trip there MORE (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said he would offer legislation to get rid of regulations prohibiting troops from carrying firearms on military installations.

Meanwhile, a number of governors have authorized National Guard personnel in their state to be armed following last week’s attack.

“During a time when our nation is at war, I believe it is in the best interest of our military members to assess their protection while on duty, even on the homefront,” Inhofe said.