Tester, Baucus tell Defense Dept. to save money overseas
Senators: ‘Common-sense to close overseas bases’
(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus are joining forces to tell the U.S. Defense Department to cut spending on military bases and facilities overseas – not on bases here in the United States.
Tester and Baucus this week introduced a Senate resolution saying that it is not “affordable or feasible” to study base closures in the U.S. The Senators say the department can save money and better meet 21st century military needs by closing or realigning overseas missions.
“It’s common-sense to close unneeded military bases overseas,” Tester said. “Decisions about our overseas military bases haven’t kept pace with our national security priorities, our technological capabilities or our budget realities, and that’s why the Defense Department should reassess the amount we are spending on overseas basing.”
“Everyone knows we’ve got to tighten the belt on spending wherever we can. But it’s just plain common sense that before we think about closing military bases here at home – and jeopardizing jobs that depend on them – we need to take a closer look at operations overseas,” Baucus said.
Tester and Baucus’ resolution says that the Senate does not support granting the Defense Department authority for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) rounds in 2015 and 2017. It also says the Senate expects the department to explore the feasibility of relocating overseas missions and assets back to the United States.
Although the president requested the BRAC process, only Congress can approve new rounds of BRAC studies.
Tester and Baucus are backed by a recent report that found significant cost savings could be achieved if the military reduced its presence in Europe and brought forces back to the U.S. Tester successfully forced the Defense Department to commission the report last year.
Tester and Baucus’ resolution on overseas bases is available below.