In its FY 2017 budget proposal, the administration, for the fifth year running, requested authority for another base realignment and closing (BRAC) round. BRAC is a classic “good government” measure, and DoD has assessed that it has 22 percent excess base capacity. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted many audits of the BRAC process and has supported DoD’s claimed savings. Despite these assessments and given the opposition of both the House and Senate in their respective NDAAs, authorization of a BRAC round is likely impossible this year. However, Congress could take two steps to set the stage for a future BRAC round: allow DoD to continue its analysis of infrastructure, and specify congressional expectations about the structure of a future BRAC round.
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Mark Cancian is a senior adviser with the CSIS International Security Program.