Senators, Bush call for more base closures

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Carl-Levin, D-Mich., introduced legislation Tuesday calling for two additional rounds of military base realignments and closures in 2003 and 2005. President Bush's budget proposal released Wednesday also called for additional base closures, saying "DoD wastes money on infrastructure it does not need." The budget proposal notes that 23 percent of all Defense bases and facilities are "excess infrastructure." Like base closure rounds in the 1990s, the McCain-Levin bill would create a bipartisan commission that would recommend to the President and Congress what bases should be closed. Unlike similar legislation in the past, the new bill would not permit privatization of bases being closed unless the commission recommends it. "Every year that we delay another base closure round, we waste about $1.5 billion in annual savings that we cannot recoup," said Levin, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a press release. McCain said the savings could go toward other Defense priorities, such as buying and repairing weapons, improving readiness and offering a better quality of life for military personnel. Additional base closures could save as much as $20 billion by 2015 and $3 billion annually thereafter, he added. An internal Pentagon study is under way that will lay out a new vision for the armed forces of the 21st century. Paul Wolfowitz, Bush's nominee for Deputy Defense Secretary, has said that the review, due in mid-March, will be critical in determining exactly how many military bases are needed. Congress has rejected similar legislation in each of the past four years, despite the backing of the Clinton administration. Lawmakers accused Clinton of politicizing the process in 1995 to preserve bases in voter-rich California and Texas, but some lawmakers have said they would support closures under a new administration. McCain said base closure rounds in 1991, 1993 and 1995 led to the shuttering of 97 bases, saving Defense $25 billion by 2003. He said 60,000 new jobs have been created as those bases have been redeveloped. But Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that the Pentagon would have a "terrible time" convincing Congress to close more bases. Defense has not demonstrated closing bases saves money, Bunning said.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.