More Concern Raised Over Possible Military Cuts in StateBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 08 Aug 2013 07:45pm |
A group of high profile state and national political leaders say they are worried about looming cut to the military and the impact that could have on Mississippi. The politicians fear another round of base closures could be coming soon.
Top Mississippi Republicans on the state and federal level are warning that more military cuts and base closures could be in the works as soon as 2015.
Two of the state's congressmen, a Senator and the Governor met with the Mississippi Military Communities Council to look for ways to defend the Mississippi's seven major bases.
Governor Phil Bryant says the impact of the military in the state is too big too to ignore.
"37,000 Mississippians are employed at our military bases or within the defense industry. that's a $2.6 billion dollar impact for the state of Mississippi," Bryant said.
Bryant was joined by Congressmen Alan Nunnalee and Greg Harper, from the first and third congressional districts, and Senator Roger Wicker, all Republicans who cautioned that recent cuts known as sequester could evolve into another round of base closures.
Senator Wicker says he has seen early proposals from the White House.
"The President has requested several billion dollars to get ready for a base closing round. I am opposed to this proposal. I think we are making a clear statement of opposition to the formal implementation of antoher BRAC round. We don't need another BRAC round," Wicker said.
"BRAC" stands for Base Realignment and Closure.
At the same time, Congressman Nunnalee, who is on the house appropriations committee, says congress needs to show that the $700 billion dollars the US spends on the military is used wisely.
"We have a solemn obligation to the men and women that are wearing the uniform of the United States. That obligation is to make sure that they have the best training and the best equipment to allow them to accomplish their mission. But we also have an obligation to the tax payers that are paying the bill. And that obligation is that we provide that training and equipment in the most efficient way possible," Nunnalee said.
Some of the sting of the sequester was lightened this week, the Department of Defense announced plans to reduce the number of furlough days for civilian employees from 11 to 6.
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