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Report: Arizona Sen. John McCain ‘seriously considering’ closing excess military bases

Arizona Sen. John McCain, right, and Chairman and CEO of GE Jeff Immelt. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX — Arizona Sen. John McCain told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he is “seriously considering” closing excess military bases, according to The Hill.

McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he and Ranking Member Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, want to close and consolidate bases due to budget constraints.

“We need to talk about [it] and I think it has to be considered — as all things, it has to be on the table,” he said during the hearing.

But lawmakers from both parties have repeatedly opposed the move, arguing that it could have a negative impact on the communities that the bases are located in.

McCain told reporters after the meeting that all options to “make our military, our defense at the lowest possible cost to the American taxpayers” must be explored, but that he would discuss these options with incoming Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Earlier this month, McCain proposed a 5-year defense spending plan that would call for a $54 million increase of former President Barack Obama’s planned budget, raising the budget to $640 billion.

“Reversing this budget-driven damage to our military must be a top priority for national leaders,” McCain argued in the budget proposal.

“[President] Donald Trump has pledged to ‘fully eliminate the defense sequester’ and ‘submit a new budget to rebuild our military.’ This cannot happen soon enough.”

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