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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 - Continued

Location: Washington DC


Mr. INHOFE. All right. Mr. President, I ask that time not be taken away from my time because I feel very awkward about this. The Senator from Alabama talked about spending time with General Jones, which I did over there. I have spent quite a bit of time, and I think I have a pretty good idea of what is going on. I have actually been to Bulgaria and Romania and Ukraine, looking at how we are going to restructure and bring home our troops who are stationed for these 2- and 3-year periods with their families, so we could actually get out there and have short deployments so they would not have to take their families with them. I think General Jones is right on target. That is going to have a tremendous effect on what we do in terms of base closures.

I answered a whip check, and I want to correct it right now, so everyone knows that whip check was not worded properly. It said: Would you support defeating a 2-year delay? I would support defeating a 2-year delay for the very reasons that have been outlined here, that we do not want our communities to have to continue to go through that.

But if you will remember the debate we had when I vigorously opposed having this fifth round, I used the argument that we are going to be changing our force structure, that we are going to be making changes that might make us relook as to what we are going to do in our installations here in the United States.

I was elected to the House in 1986, so I was there during the formulation of the BRAC process. I was a staunch supporter for the first three rounds. For the last one, I did not like the way it went. It became political. I have had the fear that would happen again. We closed some 97 installations in the last four rounds, and that is not only low-hanging fruit; a lot of great installations that were closed.

I believe, if this amendment kills it, and it would have to be reauthorized after such time that we know what the restructuring looks like, that I will support this amendment. I am going to find out between now and when the vote takes place if I am correct. But I believe my understanding now is correct.

I yield the floor.

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