Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), whose district represents two of the country's major military installations - Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base -- is making it clear to President Obama that his request for two rounds of military base closures is ill-advised. In a letter written by Hartzler and co-signed by 41 of her fellow Representatives, the President is urged to reconsider his dangerous proposal.
"It is with great concern that we have observed your Administration announcing its intention to request two new rounds of military base closures that will require additional expenses in a time of military spending reductions," writes Hartzler in the letter. "Congress has robustly funded the military construction accounts over the last three years to accommodate the growing Army and Marine Corps. We now question whether that investment will go to waste to meet an ill-advised strategy for our national defense."
The letter continues: " the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure is estimated to cost $37 billion to implement and the country will not realize net savings until 2018 at the earliest, well over the cost and time estimates originally given. It is entirely reasonable to expect conducting another round of BRAC will cost more than it saves in the near-term and thus will negate its value for deficit reduction."
Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, is committed to the constitutional requirement that the federal government provide for our national defense. She agrees with President Obama's own Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, who has expressed concern that further cuts to our national defense would be devastating. Hartzler further believes that while it is essential to cut runaway government spending, we must not balance the budget on the backs of our brave men and women in uniform.