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House committee sends BRAC plan for full vote
Posted: 09/20/2005 by AFIT Public Affairs

WASHINGTON | A House committee Tuesday night OK'd a list of base closure recommendations already approved by President Bush, but still forwarded a measure disagreeing with the list to the full House so all House members could vote on it.

The House Armed Services committee sent the resolution disapproving the list, introduced by Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., despite its 43-14 vote rejecting. Among those who voted to report the measure "adversely" was committe member Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville.

Under the base closure law, both houses of Congress have 45 days to dissaprove of the base closure list after Bush approves it or else it automatically becomes law. The law requires them only to vote for or against the entire list without the possibility of changing it.

In four prior rounds of base closure, Congress has never disapproved of the list.

LaHood, who is not a member of the committee, said he introduced the bill largely because of his concerns about the proposals to close or remove flight missions from nearly 30 Air Guard bases. The decisions have spurred outrage and lawsuits from states including Illinois, that have said the federal government cannot close Air Guard bases without permission from state governors, the commanders-in-chief of each state National Guard.

Turner said he supports the plan because it brings jobs to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and he hopes that in the long term the Air Force and Defense Department rethink the heavily criticized Air Guard proposals.

"I don't think the Department of Defense looked good in this process. The Guard is one area where everyone has concerns," he said.

Among the jobs Turner's district would receive under the plan are jobs from a series of medical missions for Wright-Patterson including the Naval Aeromedical Research Lab, the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and the Air Force Institute of Occupational Health.

Also, jobs at the Air Force Institute of Technology and 2,250 automated business system jobs at the base were spared by the base closure commission. But the commission voted to close the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Kettering and remove the F-16 training mission from Springfield's Air Guard station.

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