Describing the current policy landscape as “turbulent” would be understating things.
But some things haven’t changed. Like the perennial effort to convene a new Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) to look at shuttering military bases that the Pentagon doesn’t need. And the pushback from members of Congress who are hell bent on shutting down any discussion of this.
They’ve been successful with the shutdown for 11 years now. But this year may be different.
In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the defense budget last week, Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Committee, accused his colleagues of “cowardice” in refusing to even talk about convening a process to decide which facilities should be closed and repurposed.
The Pentagon has estimated that the previous base closure rounds have saved taxpayers about $12 billion each year. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who pledged to go after Pentagon waste in his confirmation hearings, should be interested.
Will Congress be?