Government Bytes


An Open Letter to the United States Congress: Keep the Base Realignment and Closure Process Moving Forward


Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the millions of Americans represented by the undersigned groups, we urge you to let the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process go forward and to vote "no" on a resolution of disapproval.

BRAC saves money, makes the military more efficient, puts thousands of acres of land back on local tax rolls, and brings new jobs and new money to listed communities. The Department of Defense estimates that the 2005 BRAC round will result in a net savings of $37 billion over the next 20 years. This is money that could be used to improve the quality of life for our men and women in uniform, be invested in modernized weapons systems, or returned to taxpayers.

Better still, now that Congress and the Pentagon have some 15 years of experience with the effects of base closure, it is widely known that base closures often spur economic growth in affected communities. There are now dozens of success stories where benefits have flowed to communities whose bases are converted to better uses.

BRAC should not be mistaken (as opponents suggest) for a ploy that mandates the closure of U.S. bases in an effort to keep overseas bases open. In fact, the Pentagon is also closing some 30 percent of the Cold War bases in Germany and Korea. The difference is that such cost-and resource-saving initiatives go unnoticed in the mainstream media because there is less political opposition.

Congress is expected to vote later this month on a resolution of disapproval. We urge you to oppose this resolution and to let the BRAC process go forward. Put the BRAC bases back to work for America. Due to the tremendous savings taxpayers can expect from Congress's approval of BRAC, such votes will be included in the legislative ratings of the signatory groups that conduct them.


John Berthoud
National Taxpayers Union
Michelle Korsmo
Executive Vice President
Americans for Prosperity
Thomas Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform
Amy Ridenour
National Center for Public Policy Research
Paul M. Weyrich
National Chairman
Coalitions for America