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HASC Chairman Takes Aim at Pentagon Budget: As the House Armed Services Committee prepares to convene to mark up the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill Wednesday, Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) reminded members that they have a responsibility to "scrutinize" every detail of the Defense Department's budget and to identify inefficiencies that can be addressed. "The Department of Defense cannot continue to conduct business as usual and expect better results. Proposing to cut defense spending by nearly $500 billion in the coming decade without first conducting the necessary due diligence to determine what our nation's basic defense requirements will be is an invitation to other countries to challenge America's supremacy," states McKeon in a release. Among the provisions in McKeon's bill mark, released prior to the mark-up hearing, the chairman would require competition throughout the lifecycle of weapon systems for components and subcomponents and strengthen the roles and missions review that the Pentagon is required to produce every four years. (Chairman's mark-up; caution, large file.)