McMahon Visits Electric Boat, Says She Might Vote to Put Sub Base at Risk of ClosureJune 21 2012
ROCKY HILL—People in southeastern Connecticut may have been shocked to read in this morning’s The Day that former wrestling executive Linda McMahon could be open to the possibility of setting in motion a process that could close the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton.
From The Day:
"McMahon said a BRAC is one way to look for efficiencies in the Defense Department. If elected, McMahon said, whether she would approve a BRAC round would depend on the proposed cuts."
McMahon's statement displays a dangerous misunderstanding of what a new BRAC round may mean for southeastern Connecticut. The 2005 BRAC round produced meager results, and taxpayers will not see a penny of savings until 2018. Additionally, there are no "proposed cuts" in a congressionally chartered BRAC process - the decisions on which bases to cut are made by a non-transparent Commission, not Congress, which puts the base at risk in future BRAC rounds. McMahon doesn't seem to even understand how the process works.
The federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) nearly closed the base in 2005, when it was targeted for potential closure. The fight to save the base brought together federal, state, and local officials, businesses, workers, and community groups, and the base was ultimately removed from the list of closures. The base generates an estimated $4.5 billion each year in revenue and is responsible for about 15,000 jobs on and off the base.
“If you represent southeastern Connecticut, you cannot be open to a new BRAC process. It could lead to thousands of job losses,” said Congressman Chris Murphy. “I support downsizing the military budget, but not through a non-transparent process that would endanger our state’s main military installation."
"Protecting SUBASE New London in 2005 was a bipartisan, comprehensive effort by the entire State of Connecticut," said Congressman Joe Courtney. "Today, the base is stronger than ever and its value is recognized at the highest levels of our military leadership."
“This is no time to move backwards when it comes to protecting the jobs connected to the base and the boat yard," Murphy added. "We've worked hard to get the Navy to implement $140 million in improvements to the base that will help keep it off the list of BRAC closures in the future. We've won an unprecedented commitment to building two subs at Electric Boat that strengthens their synergy with the base, and we will always work to ensure that the base and all the jobs it represents have a secure place in Connecticut’s future.”