From Times Washington correspondent Marc Heller:
WASHINGTON — Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy visits Capitol Hill today and tomorrow and will discuss cuts in defense spending with upstate lawmakers, congressional aides said.
Mr. Duffy was to meet this afternoon with Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Meetings were also planned with Rep. Richard L. Hanna. R-Barneveld, and Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
Aides said the lieutenant governor is seeking information about the possible impact of deep cuts in defense spending — and perhaps additional base closing rounds — on Fort Drum, Rome Labs and other military installations, as well as the effect on National Guard and Reserve facilities and training in the state.
Proposed cuts in the Pentagon budget would hit the reserves harder than the active-duty force, said Mrs. Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committtee, today. But even the active duty Army expects a significant hit, including a gradual reduction in tens of thousands of personnel over the next five years. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has said the cuts will affect every state.
Some of the cuts are in the Obama administration’s proposed budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Further deep cuts are possible next year if Congress does not reach a deal on deficit reduction.