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Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WITTMAN. This amendment directs that none of the funds made available in this act may be used to propose, plan for, or execute an additional Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, round. During the House Armed Services Committee markup of H.R. 4310 on May 9, a similar amendment passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 44-18, with 14 of 27 Democrats voting in favor of a similar amendment.

On February 27, 2012, I joined 41 fellow Members of Congress in signing a bipartisan letter to President Obama expressing our concerns over his administration's announcement of the intent to request two new rounds of BRACs. Six House Armed Services Subcommittee chairmen signed this letter also.

The 2005 BRAC is estimated to cost $36 billion, and the taxpayers will not realize that net savings until 2018, at the earliest. Congress has robustly funded the military construction accounts over the past 3 years to accommodate the growing Army and Marine Corps. Proposed new rounds of military base closures by the President will require additional expenses in a time of military spending reductions. More BRAC rounds will cost more than it saves in the near-term and negate the value of deficit reduction. More BRAC rounds will cost billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

According to the GAO in a study that was concluded in March 2012, DOD's fiscal year 2012 budget submission to Congress on BRAC 2005 shows that costs to implement the BRAC recommendations grew from $21 billion originally estimated by the BRAC Commission in 2005 dollars to about $35.1 billion in current dollars, an increase of about $14.1 billion, or 67 percent. In constant 2005 dollars, costs increased to $32.2 billion, an increase of 53 percent.

In 2005, the Commission estimated net annual recurring savings of $4.2 billion and a 20-year net present value savings by 2025 of $36 billion. GAO's analysis shows annual recurring savings are now about $3.8 billion, a decrease of 9.5 percent, while the 20-year net present value savings are now about $9.9 billion, a decrease of 73 percent. As such, DOD will not recoup its up-front costs until at least 2018.

Implementation of the 2005 BRAC round was officially completed on September 15, 2011. This took 6 years to fully execute. Strategically, as we draw down from over 10 years of combat operations in the Middle East and shift our focus to balancing the Middle East threat with the emerging security issues and presence of forces in the Asia-Pacific, additional rounds of BRAC at this time cannot be justified. After 10 years of war and a substantial 2005 BRAC round, we now have a well-trained, battle-hardened, combat-tested, efficient, streamlined all-volunteer force that is now more joint than ever. This is simply not the time for an additional BRAC round.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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