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WHITE HOUSE (AP) -- President Bush has sidestepped the Senate and appointed a nine-member commission that will determine military bases closings.
These are to be the first closings in ten years and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld must make his recommendations by the middle of next month.
The Senate is supposed to confirm the members of the commission. However, the White House announced last night that President Bush made the appointments while the Senate was in recess.
Senator Trent Lott opposes closing bases now and sources say he delayed voting on the nominations.
Because Bush made the appointments during a recess they will expire in 2006. However, the commission's work is expected to be done by then.
President Bush's appointees to nine-member base-closing commission
-- former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony J. Principi of California, chairman. -- former Rep. James H. Bilbray of Nevada. -- former Assistant Defense Secretary Philip Coyle of California. -- retired Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr. of Virginia. -- retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Sue Ellen Turner of Texas. -- former Rep. James V. Hansen of Utah. -- retired Army Gen. James T. Hill of Florida. -- Samuel Knox Skinner of Illinois, former chief of staff and secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush. -- retired Air Force Gen. Lloyd Warren Newton of Connecticut.
Bush had previously nominated retired Army Lt. Gen. Claude M. Kicklighter of Georgia for the commission. However, his name did not appear on the list of appointments. Instead, Newton was appointed to the commission. (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)