BRAC Early Bird August 6, 2005 Page: 2 of 12
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England may do the No. 2 job indefinitely in an
acting capacity because he already has been
confirmed by Congress as Navy secretary. The
Pentagon, however, would prefer that he be
confirmed this fall, said the officials, who
"It is important for the secretary to put the
administration in a position to have leadership
positions . . . filled to the end of the president's
term," a senior defense official said.
The president already has made August recess
appointments of John R. Bolton, installed as
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and
Peter Cyril Wyche Flory, as assistant secretary
of Defense for international security policy.
Armed Services Committee Chairman John W.
Warner, R-Va., publicly urged the president on
Aug. 1 to make a recess appointment of
England was nominated to replace Paul D.
Wolfowitz as Rumsfeld's top deputy. Wolfowitz
is now president of the World Bank.
Snowe confirmed Aug. 5 that she blocked
England's nomination from going to the floor. In
a statement, she cited several concerns,
including England's role as Navy secretary in
reducing shipbuilding and signing off on a
Pentagon recommendation to the Base
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission
to shutter Maine's Portsmouth Naval Shipyard,
which she called an efficient facility.
"In the business world, an executive who closed
his most efficient operation would not be an
executive very long," Snowe said of England.
Publicly, Armed Services senators have
attributed the more-than-three-month delay in
confirming England to concerns about his
pension from former employer General
Dynamics. The committee requires senior
Defense nominees to buy insurance policies
locking in the value of contractor pensions to
protect against potential conflicts of interest. But
the company that had insured these pensions
stopped selling such policies, and no alternative
has been found.
After months of trying to solve the conundrum,
the panel granted England an exception on July
29 and sent his nomination to the floor, where
Snowe's hold is now blocking further action.
While the surety issue has been a major reason
for the delay, base-closure politics always have
loomed as a second stumbling block, though it
was not known outside a small circle in the
In May, as soon as the Pentagon sent the BRAC
commission its list of proposed changes to U.S.
military bases, including 33 major closures,
more than one senator signaled to colleagues
that they might put a hold on England's
nomination, a Senate aide said. But only Snowe
appears to have executed the threat.
One Pentagon official said Snowe's hold "came
out of the blue," and "the surety issue masked
the BRAC issue."
In September, the administration will try to
address the base-closure concerns of Snowe and
possibly others in an attempt to secure England's
confirmation, the official said.
The commission must send its amended version
of the Pentagon's base list to the president by
Warner: BRAC Amendments Delayed
August 5, 2005
Senate Armed Services Chairman Warner says
efforts to use the FY06 defense authorization bill
to thwart the base-closure process were the
primary reason he could not move the legislation
before the August recess. The $441.6 billion bill
was introduced on the Senate floor more than a
week before recess but was shelved days later
after Majority Leader Frist's unsuccessful
attempts to invoke cloture. Had Frist succeeded,
debate would have been limited to germane
amendments, preventing senators from inserting
language on base closures. During a hearing
BRAC Commission Early Bird
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United States. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. BRAC Early Bird August 6, 2005, text, August 28, 2005; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc23307/m1/2/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.