GOP senators propose to postpone BRAC

Three GOP senators have offered legislation to postpone the recommended military base realignments and closures announced by the Pentagon last week.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Ted Stevens (Alaska) and John Thune (S.D.) announced the legislation yesterday. Their bill would delay the shutdown process “until a complete analysis is conducted on overseas facility requirements.”

The Pentagon on Friday released a list of 33 bases nationwide that it says should be shut down, causing major political ripples for those members whose districts or states were affected. The list is part of a set of recommendations for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission to consider before passing a final package of realignments and closures to Congress later this year for a vote.

“The recent BRAC recommendations are far-reaching nationally and would have enormous effects on communities like Fairbanks,” Murkowski said, referring to the potential closing of Eielson Air Force Base. “This legislation appropriately delays implementation of the recommendations until we have a more thorough inventory of our military assets and priorities.

Thune promised to protect South Dakota’s military facilities during his successful campaign to unseat former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).