first_imgCongressional opposition to approving a new round of base closures is loosening, even as this year’s Congress has resisted the Obama administration’s request for a BRAC in 2017, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday.“The hostility, the notion that this was completely unacceptable, which existed about a year ago is not there anymore amongst my fellow members is the way I would put it,” Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), the most prominent advocate in Congress for a BRAC round, told reporters.Smith dismissed all of the standard arguments, saying they had run their course, reported CQ Roll Call.“I think this whole notion that BRACs are stupid because they cost money is getting increasingly difficult to justify as an argument, as is the notion that somehow we can just do it with overseas bases,” he said.Smith also cited ADC members’ preference for the certainty of a BRAC “because this death of a thousand cuts is worse.” Smith was a keynote speaker at last month’s Defense Communities National Summit.While he believes lawmakers have started to understand why a BRAC round is needed for the long-term health of national security, it’s still not clear how soon Congress will come around. He included House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) as one of the members who understands the importance of BRAC.“He doesn’t quite share it enough yet to say that it’s still a good idea and it’s something that we want to do, but I think there is an acknowledgment that at some point we need to get there,” Smith said. “How exactly it is that he envisions getting there, much less when, I couldn’t say.”————-IMAGE SOURCE Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img