By RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP-led Senate panel is all but shutting the door on the possibility of a new round of military base closings.
The Armed Services readiness subcommittee approved legislation Tuesday denying the Defense Department’s request to close excess bases and use the accrued cost savings to strengthen the military.
The subcommittee’s chairwoman, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, says there is no room in the defense budget for the up-front costs required to begin closing bases.
The Pentagon says the Army and Air Force will have vastly more space for training and basing troops than they need, and trimming the surplus would save money that could be applied to strengthening the military.
A House panel also rejected base closings in its version of the defense bill.
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