House Adds BRAC Prohibition to Milcon Spending Bill
June 9, 2013
The House approved language barring the Pentagon from proposing, planning for or carrying out a new base closure round during its debate Tuesday over the fiscal 2014 spending bill for military construction and veterans affairs.
The amendment, introduced by Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.), parallels language in the House version of the FY 2014 defense authorization bill. The ban is needed to ensure “the limited resources we have are used to address current mission and readiness needs,” he said in a written statement.
“It also protects the jobs and missions of bases across the country, including Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. It is imperative that we remain vigilant and stay one step ahead of any efforts to allow the Department of Defense any avenue to move forward with a new BRAC round at this time,” according to the statement.
The House appended similar language to the milcon spending measure last year as well.
Lawmakers easily passed the underlying spending bill, 421-4. The spending measure, H.R. 2216, includes $10.0 billion for military construction and family housing programs in FY 2014, a $646 million reduction from the enacted level for FY 2013. After accounting for sequestration, though, only an estimated $8.8 billion is available for those programs this year.
In April, the Pentagon requested $11.0 billion for military construction and family housing in FY 2014. Spending on cleanup at previously closed installations would receive $451 million under the bill, matching the administration’s request.
Despite Monday’s threat by the White House to veto the measure, Democrats overwhelmingly approved it, reported the Hill.