Ayotte plans to block a new round of military base closures

Ayotte plans to block a new round of military base closures
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Senate Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee Chairwoman Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSchultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid Bottom Line US, allies must stand in united opposition to Iran’s bad behavior MORE (R-N.H.) said Tuesday she plans to block the administration's request for another round of military base closures when the panel takes up the defense authorization bill.  

"Ayotte plans to block the administration’s request for another round of base realignment and closure (BRAC)," said a statement from her office ahead of the panel's markup. 

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The House Armed Services Committee has also ruled out another round of base closures in its version of the bill. 

At a hearing last month, Ayotte said she will reject the administration's request to hold a new round in 2019 due to implementation costs being higher than promised during the last round. 

Republican lawmakers are also fighting a significant downsizing of the military under budget pressure and don't want to shed infrastructure without knowing what the final numbers will be, especially under a new administration. 

Ayotte, who is facing a tough reelection fight, also said she is working to include provisions in the bill to authorize military construction projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard worth more than $74 million; two military construction projects for the New Hampshire Army National Guard at Hooksett and Rochester; and the construction of two Virginia Class submarines. 

Other state-focused initiatives she is working to include an assurance that the Portsmouth shipyard workers on long-term temporary duty receive the full per diem rate; an effort to counter heroin and fentanyl production and trafficking; and a reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research and the Small Business Technology Transfer programs for small defense businesses. 

She said she would also work to ensure troops have the best personal protective equipment.