July 10, 2015

CONTACT: Travis Smith (907) 258-3077

Troop reductions hinge on Congress’ ability to compromise

Reports say that the Army could possibly reverse its decision to remove troops from Alaska, if Congress passes a budget.

ANCHORAGE: The Alaska Dispatch reports that there is a chance, albeit a long shot, that the Army could reverse its decision to remove 2,600 JBER troops. But, there’s a catch. A reversal likely depends of Congress’ ability to pass a binding budget by September. 

Earlier this year the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate were able to pass a budget, something Congress hadn’t done since 2010. However, there’s a lot of work to be done. According to the New York Times, the budget isn’t likely to be passed as is, because of its adherence to the sequestration caps.

While The Times reports Republican dysfunction could impose yet another government shutdown as early as September, Alaska’s delegation must stand above the fray and stand for Alaskan priorities. 

Sequestration has taken its toll on Alaskans. On top of the troop reductions, Sen. Lisa Murkowski felt forced to vote down an appropriations amendment that would have funded an Arctic icebreaker. APRN reported that Murkowski cited sequestration caps as the primary reason for her no vote.

“We’ve been given a window of opportunity to fix this,” said Mike Wenstrup, chair of the Alaska Democratic Party. “I hope our congressional delegation can convince the far right of Congress to repeal sequestration and enact a budget that’s palatable to both sides.”