Senate Committee Weighs in on BRAC Request
Five members of the Senate Armed Services Committee indicated they were either concerned about or opposed to another round of BRAC during a hearing Tuesday on the Pentagon’s fiscal 2013 budget request.
Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said DOD should first consolidate its bases in Europe before scrutinizing its domestic infrastructure. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said he doesn’t believe the military’s force structure should be reduced any further. Three other lawmakers mentioned other concerns, including the likelihood of realizing cost savings, reported the Hill newspaper.
Only Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he would support the administration’s request for another round. “I do believe it’s appropriate to consider another round of BRAC, as hard as that is for our colleagues,” he said.
As a former congressman from a district that suffered a major closure in the 1991 round of BRAC, Panetta acknowledged the consequences, including political ones, of a base closure. “Frankly, I don’t wish the process on anybody having been through it, because it’s tough,” he said.
The loss of Fort Ord left a significant dent in the Monterey, Calif., economy after it closed in 1994, he said. “And yet it is the only effective way to achieve needed infrastructure savings.”