News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Reason to be bullish about BRAC coming to the Valley

The House resolution to cut Base Realignment and Closure funding $3.1 billion is justifiably making a lot of people nervous.

But don't panic. That's Congress in action.

Even if the Senate also passes the resolution, there will be many opportunities to restore the funding and not create disastrous delays as some people fear.

BRAC relocations figure prominently in Tennessee Valley plans, with the prospect of major construction and some 5,000 jobs either transferring here or opening when people decide not to transfer.

So, why the fuss in Congress if BRAC is what Congress ordered?

Some Democrats in the new majority are using military funding to make a statement about the lack of spending in other areas. Eventually, Congress will fund BRAC. The amount of the cut is not much considering overall government spending.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, told a Somerville audience Saturday, "It will get done. But it won't be without a fight. Be patient. I'm bullish in this area."

Indeed he is. While having his influence diminished when Democrats came to power last month, the senator and other people who represent the Valley in Washington get big political contributions to take care of the Huntsville's military industry.

U.S. Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville, is a majority member of the Appropriations Committee and is also on its subcommittee on defense.

Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, is a member of the Appropriations Committee, too.

John Seymour, president of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, said local BRAC recruitment will continue with a visit to Northern Virginia in April.

To put this thing in perspective, remember that government activity rarely moves in a straight line.

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