A Dept. of Defense fiscal 2015 budget proposal to launch a new base realignment and closure (BRAC) round has run into opposition on Capitol Hill. At an April 2 hearing on DOD's budget, members of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees milcon spending seemed reluctant to back a new BRAC round.
Michael McCord, DOD principal deputy undersecretary, told the panel a new BRAC round, to begin in fiscal 2017, could save $2 billion a year. "Delays in approving this request will mean that funds needed for investments in readiness and modernization will be spent instead on unneeded infrastructure," he said.
But Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) cited a June 2012 Government Accountability Office report that said the 2005 BRAC round's costs were 67% higher than DOD projected. Collins said, "The fact is, the department was way, way off in its estimates, and, from my perspective, we lost some valuable assets." She added, "I certainly will work against it."
John Conger, DOD acting deputy undersecretary for installations and environment, said, "I know the high cost of BRAC 2005 has left a bad taste in many senators' mouths." But the Pentagon would be more judicious in the next round, he suggested. He said a DOD BRAC 2005 analysis showed that "those projects that weren't designed to save money, didn't …but ... the projects that were supposed to save money definitely saved money, as intended."