House Armed Services subpanel rejects new round of base closures

House Armed Services subpanel rejects new round of base closures
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A House military readiness subcommittee rejected a new round of base closures in its draft portion of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act released Tuesday. 

The administration has recommended new rounds of base closures for the past several years in order to save money spent on excess infrastructure. 

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A Pentagon report made public on Friday showed that more than 20 percent of the Defense Department's bases will be considered excess by 2019, taking into account planned force cuts. 

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the report fails to justify another BRAC round because it bases its projections on 2019 force size.

A new round of base closures, referred to as BRAC for "Base Closure and Realignment Commission," is supported by the administration, as well as some Democrats on the committee. 

House Armed Services ranking member Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithLet's talk about education and school choice in 2020 Overnight Defense: Lawmakers on edge over Iran tensions | Questions rise after State pulls personnel from Iraq | Senators demand briefing | House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill | Warren offers plan on climate threats to military House Dems unveil bill to limit Pentagon's ability to transfer military construction dollars MORE (D-Wash.) has said he will continue to work on legislation that authorizes an additional BRAC round.

The last authorized round of BRAC was in 2005. Lawmakers have repeatedly shot down requests for another round due to the potential negative effects on local communities.  

The report said there would be 33 percent excess infrastructure for the Army, 7 percent for the Navy, 32 percent for the Air Force and 12 percent for the Defense Logistics Agency.

Past rounds of BRAC in 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2005, and European infrastructure consolidation in 2015, have saved the Pentagon a total of $14.1 billion when adjusted for inflation, according to the report. 

In addition, the readiness subpanel, led by Chairman Rob WittmanRobert (Rob) Joseph WittmanWhy block citizenship to immigrants who defend America? Virginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence Overnight Defense: House passes 5B defense spending bill | Pentagon moving forward on Trump military parade | Mattis vows 'ironclad' support for South Korea's defense MORE (R-Va.) and ranking member Madeleine BordalloMadeleine Mary BordalloThis week: Lawmakers return to mourn George H.W. Bush Guam New Members 2019 Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE (D-Guam), would provide more funds for military construction than the president has proposed for 2017.