- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Obama’s defense budget reneges on base closure promise
Question of the Day
President Obama is backtracking from his campaign promise that “I don’t think now is the time” for another round of military base closures across the country.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday presented the $526 billion defense budget request for fiscal 2014, which explicitly calls for shutting down facilities in a process called Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC).
“BRAC is the only effective means of achieving infrastructure consolidation,” the Pentagon said. “This BRAC round adds $2.4 billion to costs in the next five years but would eventually save substantial sums. The actual closing of bases would involve a multiyear process that would not start until 2016, after the economy is projected to have more fully recovered.”
During the campaign, Mr. Obama sang a different tune as he campaigned in the swing state of Virginia, with its array of Navy, Air Force and Army bases that employ thousands.
“Do you support another BRAC closing bases, possibly hurting Hampton Roads?” Mr. Obama was asked on July 15 in a radio interview.
Said Mr. Obama: “You know, I don’t think now is the time for BRAC. We just went through some base closings, and the strategy that we have does not call for that.”
In fact, his proposed fiscal 2013 budget at that time did call for a new BRAC. Then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff had testified to Congress in the winter of 2012 that they desperately needed to close excess properties.
But neither the Republican-controlled House nor the Democrat-led Senate agreed. They refused to authorize another BRAC.
A few months later, Mr. Obama was in Virginia telling voters BRAC was not needed.
Rep. Randy Forbes, Virginia Republican, was astonished.
“Your statement is inconsistent with those from Secretary Panetta, other members of your administration and budget documentation that all requested another two rounds of Base Realignment and Closure,” Mr. Forbes wrote in a letter to the White House. “We would appreciate if you could confirm that the Administration at this time is no longer seeking to close additional military installations.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Marine Corps whistleblower lands new Pentagon position
- Elusive target: U.S. believed Iraq terror mastermind al-Baghdadi killed 3 times
TWT Video Picks
By Scott Pinsker
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Computer glitch caused odd Saturday release of D.C. guns ruling
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq