House Votes to Permit BRAC Commission Recommendations to Take Effect
The House today voted to approve the recommendations of the Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission. The resolution (H.J. Res. 65), which would have prevented the BRAC Commission's recommendations from taking effect if it had passed, was defeated by a vote of 85-324.
Despite his strong disapproval of the Commission's recommendation to close the 440th Airlift Wing at the General Mitchell Air Reserve Station in Milwaukee, First District Congressman Paul Ryan voted against H.J. Res. 65, because it would have thrown out the entire package of BRAC recommendations, the bulk of which Ryan believes are positive steps. Ryan made the following statement about today's vote:
"This was a difficult vote to take, because I believe the BRAC Commission made a major mistake by backing the proposal to move the 440th from Milwaukee. However, when I looked at the Commission's total package of recommendations, it became clear that this plan will help our military infrastructure evolve to meet the challenges of 21st century threats. We need to make the transition from a military geared toward fighting the Cold War to a force more attuned to fighting and winning the War on Terror, and this BRAC plan is a necessary part of that transformation," Ryan said.
"Most of the BRAC recommendations are positive steps to boost efficiency and effectiveness and encourage joint training and operations. I believe the responsible course is to allow the Pentagon to move forward with the restructuring, even though I wholeheartedly disagree with its decision on the 440th. We are all very proud of this unit, which has served our country with courage and distinction in the Middle East and throughout the world, and it saddens me that they will leave Milwaukee," Ryan said.