Making the BRAC Pitch

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he plans to introduce a rider for a new round of base closures when the Fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill arrives on the House floor. “We need it,” Smith said Thursday during a Capitol Hill event sponsored by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Funds must be freed up to protect military readiness, especially since Congress seems intent on turning over at least some of the proposed cuts the military services have put forward, he added. Due to House rules, Smith can’t introduce an amendment during the committee mark-up. However, he continued to push back on the idea that the 2005 BRAC did not save much money, noting that at the time the US military was expanding to meet the demands of two wars. As a result, the round focused on realigning facilities, not closing them. Air Force officials have repeatedly requested an additional BRAC round, saying the service has excess infrastructure it can no longer afford to maintain.