An expected request by President Barack Obama for a new round of military Base Realignment and Closures will be “dead on arrival” in Congress, according to a statement from members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation.
Responding to comments from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta indicating Obama will ask for a new round of base closures, known as BRAC, Sens. Joe Lieberman, Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney said they would “strongly oppose” the proposal. Lieberman, Blumenthal, and Courtney all serve on a congressional Armed Services Committee.
“There is sweeping bipartisan opposition to another round of BRAC at this time. Given that the process requires Congressional approval just to get off the ground, the proposal is dead on arrival,” the statement said.
The last round of BRAC was completed in 2005. The delegation cited a 2009 report from the Government Accountability Office that found that it cost an “unprecedented” $35 billion to execute, “billions more than it is projected to save in the long run.”
Savings associated with BRAC are typically realized much later, so another round wouldn’t help the Pentagon meet the targets called for in the Budget Control Act, it said.
“As such, we will strongly oppose this misguided proposal as Congress debates the FY2013 defense budget,” the statement said.
The submarine base in New London was originally slated for closure under the last round of BRAC however it was taken off the list in 2005.
“As a delegation, since 2007, we have secured more than $80 million in new military construction SUBASE New London, shoring up its infrastructure and value to the Navy and our submarine fleet,” the statement said. “We will continue to work with the Navy and community and base leaders to strengthen SUBASE and secure its future.”