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The Senate votes to kill an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill that would have prevented military base closings.

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Roll Call: Senate Disposes Of Amendment To Preserve Bases

The Senate votes to kill an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill that would have prevented military base closings.

On June 4, by a vote of 42 to 53, the Senate defeated an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1588) that would have prevented a round of military base closures in 2005.

Those in favor of the amendment feared losing the government-induced stimulus that a military base can bring to their home state’s economy.

However, they instead argued with the excuse that the featured an abdication of responsibility from the executive to the legislative branch, and that the politicians were simply relying on recommendations from the Pentagon. Apparently, the nation’s premier office of national security isn’t a trustworthy source on this issue.

In contrast, supporters of this amendment were concerned more with military bases in their home states closing down than they were issues of national security.

“Look, we have closed bases before,” said Sen. Trent Lott (R.-Miss.). “We did it after World War II. We did it after the Korean War. We did it after the Vietnam war. I know of bases around my region of the country [where] the Pentagon looked at them and made recommendations to Congress of what bases needed to be closed. In many instances, I do not know exactly how it worked.

“I have never liked this process,” Lott continued. “I think this process takes out the considerations that can be given by a congressman or by a senator who knows about a base in [his home state].”

But base realignment and closures, otherwise known as BRAC 2005, helps the military eliminate excess physical capacity in order to maximize warfighting capability and efficiency.

In a letter that Sen. John Warner (R.-Va.) read on the floor, from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard B. Myers to Warner, Myers stated that “we must eliminate excess physical capacity to allow for increased defense capability focused on ‘jointness.’”

Still, liberals like Sen. Hilary Clinton (D.-N.Y.) mistook themselves for military officials. Clinton’s statement was especially telling, since she pretended as if the base closing were going to hurt the military, and not the parasitic economy surrounding the bases.

“Our troops need to know that we support them in their efforts,” Clinton spouted, “and standing by a bill that was passed in the months before Sept. 11 does a disservice to them. It places communities under tremendous stress to have to prepare for a base closing round.”

A “yes” vote is one in favor of the amendment to forego military base closings in 2005. A “no” vote is in opposition to the amendment and in favor of base closings.

FOR THE AMENDMENT: 42 AGAINST THE AMENDMENT: 53
REPUBLICANS FOR (20):
Bennett
Bond
Burns
Campbell
Cochran
Collins
Domenici
Enzi
Gregg
Hatch
Hutchison
Inhofe
Lott
Murkowski
Shelby
Snowe
Specter
Stevens
Sununu
Thomas.

DEMOCRATS FOR (22):
Baucus
Bayh
Bingaman
Boxer
Breaux
Clinton
Conrad
Daschle
Dodd
Dorgan
Durbin
Edwards
Feinstein
Inouye
Johnson
Kennedy
Mikulski
Murray
Nelson (Fla.)
Nelson (Neb.)
Sarbanes
Schumer

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (29):
Alexander
Allard
Allen
Brownback
Bunning
Chafee
Chambliss
Coleman
Cornyn
Craig
DeWine
Dole
Ensign
Fitzgerald
Frist
Graham (S.C.)
Grassley
Hagel
Kyl
Lugar
McCain
McConnell
Nickles
Roberts
Santorum
Sessions
Smith
Talent
Warner.

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (23):
Akaka
Biden
Byrd
Cantwell
Carper
Corzine
Dayton
Feingold
Harkin
Hollings
Kohl
Landrieu
Lautenberg
Leahy
Levin
Lincoln
Miller
Pryor
Reed (R.I.)
Reid (Nev.)
Rockefeller
Stabenow
Wyden

INDEPENDENT AGAINST (1):
Jeffords

NOT VOTING: 5

REPUBLICANS (2): DEMOCRATS (3):
Crapo
Voinovich
Graham (Fla.)
Kerry
Lieberman
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