Senate approves new round of base closings

The Senate Tuesday approved the Defense Department's plan to begin closing military bases in 2003.

The Senate gave its approval by rejecting, 54-46, a proposal to remove the base-closing authority from the 2002 Defense authorization bill.

The House, however, has refused to give its approval for more base closings, so the issue will not be settled until lawmakers from both chambers go into conference committee on the final authorization bill.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday that base closures are vital to the Pentagon's efforts to reform the military services to confront new threats such as those posed by terrorists. Additionally, Rumsfeld called reducing the bases a "force protection" issue in light of the recent terrorist attacks. Having fewer bases would limit the vulnerability of U.S. troops, he said.

Rumsfeld has repeatedly said that there is 20 to 25 percent excess capacity at military bases and that the cost of maintaining those facilities is draining modernization accounts.

Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., urged the Senate to reject the proposal to close more bases, saying that the Pentagon may need the additional facilities as it wages war on terrorism. "Now, more than ever, we should hold off further downsizing of our military infrastructure as we analyze how to fight the first war of the 21st century," Bunning said.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., asked his colleagues to support the measure because it would give the Pentagon greater flexibility and offer substantial savings. Previous base closings from 1988 to 1995 have saved Defense nearly $15 billion annually, he 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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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