BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Breaking news: U.S. Senate candidates George Allen and Timothy M. Kaine have found some common ground.
Over the past two days, the two former governors have agreed on two trending topics: the need for energy exploration off Virginia’s coast and transparency surrounding looming defense cuts.
While Allen and Kaine continue to spar on deep defense cuts scheduled to take effect at the end of the year due to the failure of a so-called super-committee established by last year’s debt deal, both agree that more information on how the cuts would be made is necessary.
Both have offered support for the Sequestration Transparency Act, which passed the U.S. Senate unanimously Wednesday after sailing out of the House last week. The act requires the Obama administration to lay out precisely the cuts to defense and domestic programs set to go into effect next year.
In commenting on the passage of the bill, Allen noted that he consistently opposed the debt deal. Kaine — who supported the debt deal, along with a broad group of leaders from across the aisle – noted that he objects to the steep defense cuts and urges congress to find an alternative solution.
Allen and Kaine have also backed legislation proposed yesterday by Virginia’s U.S. Sens. Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner, both Democrats, which would open up energy production off Virginia’s coast.
The Offshore Petroleum Expansion Now Act of 2012, or OPEN Act, would replace the current five-year leasing plan, which excludes Virginia, and provide revenue sharing to all participating coastal states.