Bipartisan legislation includes good news for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Pease Air National Guard Base
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, rejected the Administration's request for another round of military base closures while supporting investments in military readiness that are important to Pease Air National Guard Base and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The two partnered on these priorities during the subcommittee's markup of this year's Defense Authorization legislation which will be considered by the full Senate Armed Services Committee later this week.
In their consideration of the Fiscal Year 2015 defense bill, the New Hampshire Senators once again opposed a proposed Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round, a move that significantly diminishes the possibility that a BRAC round will be included in this year's final defense authorization. Shaheen and Ayotte have repeatedly opposed the Administration’s BRAC requests. According to nonpartisan experts, the 2005 BRAC round exceeded initial cost estimates by $14 billion.
The subcommittee markup authorizes important military construction and operations projects, including facility construction at Pease Air National Guard Base for the KC-46A tanker, and the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP) that helps the military reduce energy and water usage, and consequently, costs.
“Today we advanced a bipartisan bill that reins in wasteful spending, prevents a potentially costly BRAC round, and instead invests in projects that are good for New Hampshire, our national defense, and our economy,” Shaheen said. “One of the best things we can do for our men and women in uniform and national defense is to support our fundamental readiness and maintain our military infrastructure, and we successfully accomplished these goals in our subcommittee this afternoon.”
“This bipartisan legislation supports military readiness while also improving efficiency and eliminating waste. I’m especially pleased that the legislation addresses key priorities at the Shipyard and Pease, which perform critical military readiness functions,” Ayotte said. “The bill does not authorize a new BRAC round. Now is not the time to spend billions of up-front dollars on another BRAC round, especially as costs for the last one have dramatically exceeded expectations, and we’re still paying for the 2005 BRAC round.”
As Chair and Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Shaheen and Ayotte have jurisdiction over BRAC proposals in addition to military readiness responsibilities including training, logistics, military construction, and maintenance.
The Senators’ legislation includes efforts to cut waste and unnecessary spending, including a $324.7 million reduction to improve efficiency and prevent waste, a $15 million reduction for unjustified Enterprise IT programs, and a $12.5 million reduction to the Logistics IT program for unjustified cost growth.
The subcommittee-approved defense authorization language will now move to the full Senate Armed Services Committee for consideration.