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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006

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Location: Washington, DC


NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006 -- (House of Representatives - May 25, 2005)

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AMENDMENT NO. 2 OFFERED BY MR. BRADLEY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 2 offered by Mr. Bradley of New Hampshire:

At the end of subtitle C of title XXVIII, insert the following new section:

SEC. 28__. POSTPONEMENT OF 2005 ROUND OF DEFENSE BASE CLOSURE AND REALIGNMENT.

(a) Postponement.--The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (part A of title XXIX of Public Law 101-09510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``SEC. 2915. POSTPONEMENT OF 2005 ROUND OF DEFENSE BASE CLOSURE AND REALIGNMENT.

``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the round of defense base closure and realignment otherwise scheduled to occur under this part in 2005 by reasons of sections 2912, 2913, and 2914 shall occur instead in the year following the year in which the last of the actions described in subsection (b) occurs (in this section referred to as the `postponed closure round year').

``(b) Actions Required Before Base Closure Round.--(1) The actions referred to in subsection (a) are the following actions:

``(A) The complete analysis, consideration, and, where appropriate, implementation by the Secretary of Defense of the recommendations of the Commission on Review of Overseas Military Facility Structure of the United States.

``(B) The return from deployment in the Iraq theater of operations of substantially all (as determined by the Secretary of Defense) major combat units and assets of the Armed Forces.

``(C) The receipt by the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the report on the quadrennial defense review required to be submitted in 2006 by the Secretary of Defense under section 118(d) of title 10, United States Code.

``(D) The complete development and implementation by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security of the National Maritime Security Strategy.

``(E) The complete development and implementation by the Secretary of Defense of the Homeland Defense and Civil Support directive.

``(F) The receipt by the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives of a report submitted by the Secretary of Defense that assesses military installation needs taking into account--

``(i) relevant factors identified through the recommendations of the Commission on Review of Overseas Military Facility Structure of the United States;

``(ii) the return of the major combat units and assets described in subparagraph (B);

``(iii) relevant factors identified in the report on the 2005 quadrennial defense review;

``(iv) the National Maritime Security Strategy; and

``(v) the Homeland Defense and Civil Support directive.

``(2) The report required under subparagraph (F) of paragraph (1) shall be submitted not later than one year after the occurrence of the last action described in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of such paragraph.

``(c) Administration.--For purposes of sections 2912, 2913, and 2914, each date in a year that is specified in such sections shall be deemed to be the same date in the postponed closure round year, and each reference to a fiscal year in such sections shall be deemed to be a reference to the fiscal year that is the number of years after the original fiscal year that is equal to the number of years that the postponed closure round year is after 2005.''.

(b) Ineffectiveness of 2005 Round of Defense Base Closure and Realignment.--Effective as of the date of the enactment of this Act, any list of military installations recommended for closure or realignment submitted to Congress pursuant to section 2914 of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 shall have no further force and effect.

The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 293, the gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. Bradley) and a Member opposed each will control 30 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. Bradley).

Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 3 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, let me start out by thanking the ranking member, the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton); the chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter); the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Hefley); the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Snyder); and all of the members of the House Committee on Armed Services for the defense of our Nation and for working so hard for our troops.

The gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter) and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) are indeed fine leaders and it is a pleasure to serve under them in the bipartisan fashion that they conduct the committee business.

Mr. Chairman, let me explain this amendment because the sponsors believe that this amendment is critical to our Nation's defense. It postpones the base realignment and closure process until 1 year after a number of studies are completed and until 1 year after the troops have returned home from the Iraqi theater.

The studies in question, number one, the Overseas Base Commission Report, which was released on May 9, 4 days before the BRAC list came out, what of the 70,000 troops that are slated to return to our country and the 30,000 new troops that we have authorized? Where will they be housed, on what bases? Where will the children of these troops go to school? What are the MILCON expenditures likely to be that we have to appropriate? We need to have those answers.

We also need the Quadrennial Defense Review, the potential threats that our Nation faces, the force structure, the defense infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, the last QDR was completed on September 30 of 2001, so the Department of Defense is using outdated information, information that predates Iraq, predates the hostility in Afghanistan, predates the war on terror. The next QDR is slated to be completed this fall, too late for the BRAC Commission's report.

Other studies that are necessary are the National Marine Security Strategy Study by the Department of Defense, as well as the Secretary's report assessing our Nation's military installation needs.

Mr. Speaker, let us be extremely careful before closing 33 major bases and hundreds of smaller facilities that we have not undermined through the base closure process the security of our Nation.

This amendment ensures that we exercise that necessary care and necessary restraint so important to the security of our country.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from South Dakota (Ms. Herseth).

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Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

First of all, I would like to commend my colleague from Arkansas and my colleague from Colorado for the very courteous way in which they have conducted this debate, allowing those of us who did not have adequate time to speak to be able to do so tonight.

Mr. Chairman, I believe that we must be very cautious before reducing our Nation's industrial base capability and base capacity. Many of the 33 bases are irreplaceable national security assets. For instance, the nuclear license facility in my area, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, it will never be recreated again if closed. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has served our Nation well for 200 years and saves taxpayers millions and millions of hard-earned dollars while returning our Nation's nuclear submarines to the water ahead of schedule.

Mr. Chairman, we all know that our Nation is fighting a war on terror. It began on a fateful morning in September 3 1/2 years ago. Let us be careful before we close irreplaceable national security assets that we will not have the ability to recreate without either huge expense or local opposition.

This amendment appropriately delays that process, enables our Nation to study that process so that we can best defend ourselves from the threats to our national security.

I urge my colleagues to vote for the Bradley amendment.

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