GOP senator presses for hearing on Chattanooga shooting

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Senate panel rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps, advances defense bill that backfills wall money Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Trump nominates Shanahan as Pentagon chief | House panel advances bill to block military funds for border wall | Trump defends Bolton despite differences 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 McCainClimate change is a GOP issue, too It's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' MORE (R-Ariz.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate panel advances Trump's Space Force Senate panel rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps, advances defense bill that backfills wall money Overnight Defense: Iran worries dominate foreign policy talk | Pentagon reportedly to send WH plans for 10K troops in Mideast | Democrats warn Trump may push through Saudi arms sale | Lawmakers blast new Pentagon policy on sharing info 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 CruzOn The Money: Conservative blocks disaster relief bill | Trade high on agenda as Trump heads to Japan | Boeing reportedly faces SEC probe over 737 Max | Study finds CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay Conservative blocks House passage of disaster relief bill The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan 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 JohnsonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Barr throws curveball into Senate GOP 'spying' probe Bipartisan group of senators introduce legislation designed to strengthen cybersecurity of voting systems 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.