Base closings prove stumbling block on defense authorization

What procedures the Pentagon should follow in closing excess military bases is proving to be the biggest stumbling block as the House and Senate strive to hammer out a compromise fiscal 2002 defense authorization bill, congressional sources told National Journal News Service Wednesday.

There is even doubt whether there will be enough votes to put any kind of base closing process in the final version of the bill being debated behind closed doors, officials added.

President Bush has asked Congress to pass legislation to resume the base closing process, but there is considerable resistance to doing this, especially in the House. The Pentagon has said that getting rid of surplus bases would save billions of dollars that could go to pressing needs of the military, particularly the procurement of new weapons.

Another issue holding up the reporting of a compromise bill, sources said, is how much "transparency" Congress should demand of the Pentagon as it proceeds toward deployment of a national missile defense.

Senate Armed Services Chairman Levin has abandoned his earlier effort to give Congress the power to disapprove of amendments to the 1972 anti-ballistic-missile treaty. But he is now seeking to insert language in the bill designed to assure that Congress would be kept informed of the advances and setbacks of the missile defense effort, sources said.

Arguments on those and other issues, together with the anthrax scare, which drove several members on the Armed Services committees out of their offices, have delayed the drafting of a compromise defense bill, sources said.

The compromise measure is not expected to be completed by the House-Senate conference before late next week, they added.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.


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