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Base Closings

Pentagon get a last chance to argue over Air National Guard plan.

Both sides in the base-closing controversy get another chance to argue their points today. States fearing the loss of Air National Guard units say Defense Secretary Rumsfeld can't move them without each governor's consent. The Pentagon claims it has authority to reshuffle as it sees fit.

They'll present arguments today to a special panel. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission is reviewing the Pentagon's sweeping plan to close, shrink or expand hundreds of military bases and installations nationwide. The panel is to make its decisions by the end of the month before sending a final report to President Bush and Congress. The shake-up of dozens of Air Guard units has emerged as the most contentious part of the plan.

 Two states, Pennsylvania and Illinois, have sued over the Air Guard proposal, and the commissioners have serious concerns about it.

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