Bill might cut billions from Defense Dept., Ala. bases

Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, and other Alabama bases could feel the effects of the new bill.
Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, and other Alabama bases could feel the effects of the new bill.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's military bases might find their way to the budget chopping block. It's all part of the new debt ceiling bill passed by Congress--a clause that says if Congress can't agree on additional deficit reductions, the Department of Defense's budget could be cut by $600 billion dollars.

Alabama 2nd District Congresswoman Martha Roby says that's why she voted against the bill that would raise the country's ability to borrow money while cutting spending.

"It is my job to make sure that I am representing the interests of the people who elected me."

According to a census report, the Department of Defense spent $12 billion dollars in Alabama in 2009.

Roby knows Alabama's military bases are the lifeblood of many communities.

"That was the sticking point and it just wasn't a place I was willing to go on behalf of Alabama's second district and this country," she says.

If the Department of Defense cuts $600 billion from its budget, "our military would cease to exist as we know it," adds Roby.

She believes military men and women wouldn't have the essentials for war.

"We cannot afford to make anymore cuts in order for our military to have all the resources they need to accomplish the missions that we've given them."

And even though Roby says Congress claims these cuts wouldn't happen, she's not convinced.

"One thing I've learned in Congress is to never say never. Because what you think might not happen, could in actuality take place."

66 Republicans voted against the debt ceiling bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, 19 in the Senate--including Alabama Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says, "Montgomery appreciates everything Congressman Roby has done and will continue to do for our military. We stand ready to assist her to protect our military bases and jobs."

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