Congressman Bill Owens released the following statement today in response to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s speech this afternoon.
“Secretary Panetta’s announcement of a potential BRAC request today came as a surprise. I am frustrated by the lack of professionalism at the Pentagon to spring this announcement on the public while Congress was out of session and only hours after House Armed Services Committee (HASC) leadership was briefed on the details. At no point prior had anyone from the Pentagon testified before HASC that BRAC was under consideration.
Last year, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates identified $150 billion in savings the Pentagon would make over the next five years. Secretary Panetta also noted today that he and his staff have targeted an additional $60 billion in cuts. I will be asking Secretary Panetta to produce a progress report on these savings as we need to exhaust all commonsense options before considering BRAC.
As this process moves forward, I will continue fighting for Fort Drum so it can play a key role both in our nation’s security and the region’s economic development for years to come.”
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