Baca Votes to Suspend Military Base Closures
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) today stood for millions of military families across our nation as he voted in favor of H.R. 4200, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005.
The National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense for the 2005 Fiscal Year, included a provision that would delay the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round for two years through 2007. An amendment offered by Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-MN) would have eliminated the two-year BRAC delay contained in H.R. 4200.
Congressman Baca voted against the Kennedy amendment, thus postponing the base closures for two years. The amendment failed by a 162-259 vote. The National Defense Authorization Act passed by a 391-34 vote.
"We need to do everything we can to make our armed forces as effective as possible," said Congressman Baca. "That's why I support the two-year delay for the next BRAC round."
"California has seen 29 bases close already," continued Congressman Baca. "In the Inland Empire, George and Norton Air Force Bases have been closed. And March Air Force Base was reduced to a reserve base. This cost an estimated 37,000 jobs and $3.9 billion in economic activity. That is 39 times the size of the San Bernardino city budget. That's real money that could have helped our citizens."
"Base closings will affect our troops and their families. It will set the military on a course of instability. All in order to save a few dollars."
"Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan should not have to worry whether their families will be moved to another city or another state. They have more important things to worry about. This was a victory for our brave men and women in the Armed Forces."