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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Clinton Backs Base Closure

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Bill Clinton will approve an independent commission's recommendation to close or realign 132 domestic military bases, a U.S. defense official said Wednesday.


"He has decided to approve it," said one senior defense official of the painful political step which would close 79 facilities including McClellan Air Force Base near Sacramento, California, and Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.


Clinton made the decision based on the Defense Department's promise to keep thousands of civilian jobs lost by the closings of McClellan, located in a key state for the 1996 presidential election, and in Texas through private contracting.


Clinton has until Saturday to approve or reject the plan to close 79 bases, 28 of them regarded as major facilities, and cut the size of dozens of others. He must then send the report to Congress which must take it or leave it without change by Aug. 15.