HOLT, PALLONE JOIN LAHOOD ON RESOLUTION OF DISAPPROVAL ON BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE LIST
Bill Would Halt BRAC Process, Help Pay For Hurricane Katrina Recovery Efforts
Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) today lent their support to Representative Ray LaHood's (R-IL) resolution of disapproval on the proposed final Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list submitted by President Bush to the Congress this month.
"The Defense Department and the BRAC Commission have both acknowledged that the proposed closures have significant up-front costs," said Holt. "We cannot in good conscience go forward with the BRAC process now when the country is looking at spending more than $200 billion to help rebuild the Gulf Coast areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and when the Pentagon has yet to even complete its ongoing force structure review."
"While I do not support the BRAC process, it simply makes no sense to move ahead with the closure process when it's clear we simply cannot afford it," Pallone said. "In reference to Fort Monmouth alone, the Pentagon acknowledges that $822 million will be needed to close the Fort, and the agency doesn't anticipate seeing any savings for at least two decades.
"Today, our priority should be helping those displaced and restoring the communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina," Pallone continued. "Congress should take its oversight responsibility seriously and prevent the Pentagon from moving ahead with the BRAC process."
In its final report, the BRAC Commission estimated that implementation of its recommendations would require one-time up-front costs of $21 billion. If adopted, the bipartisan resolution of disapproval would kill the BRAC Commission's recommendations, a move that would free billions of dollars for use in helping the people of the Gulf Coast rebuild their lives.
"Postponing BRAC until the area is rebuilt and the economy is on the mend is both the fiscally sensible and truly compassionate course of action to take at this time," said Holt. "I urge my colleagues to join me in this effort."