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James Inhofe

Congress battles over cuts to military commissaries

Congress battles over cuts to military commissaries

A bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski is fighting an effort to privatize the commissaries that serve military families at installations such as Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Tucked into a major defense bill moving through the Senate this week is a pilot program that would test the privatization of commissaries at five military bases.

The 246 stores run by the Defense Commissary Agency on and around military bases worldwide offer deep discounts on groceries and other items to service members, veterans and their families. A survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2010 found that shopping at commissaries saves the average...