Republicans better hope Chuck Hagel's not the vindictive type. Or they could be in for a world of hurt.
Why? Well, with the looming budget cuts - there is ONE tool that the SecDef has at his disposal - BRAC. Base realignment and Closure. For those of you who don't know what this is - that means that the Secretary of Defense will look at consolidating units from different smaller bases and/or eliminating units in order to cut down on the assoicated overhead costs.
And if anyone thinks that BRAC is apolitical , I'd say you're wrong. It's a very political process, and some of the efforts that congressmen/women will make to get their states off of that list are almost comical to watch.
Why? Simply put, that bases stimulate the local economy. They provide revenue to the state that they're located in through commerce. Also, senators that lose bases to BRAC are 3x as likely to lose reelection bids as those who don't.
And if SecDef Hagel is going to make cuts , the states of the Republicans who just filibustered his nomination would be as good of a state as any.
Do we really need Luke AFB when Fallon AFB is merely a few hours north ? I'm sure Phoenix would do just fine without a couple of thousand middle class incomes participating in their economy, and I'm sure Nevada would love to have that extra revenue after those units get transferred.
Does Texas need half of the bases that they have? Especially the bases in Sen Cruz' district ? I bet we could consolidate those.
Does South Carolina need MCAS Beuford when Newriver is just up the road in NC?
Sorry Sen Graham - but SecDef Hagel could hit you with BRAC 1, and then keep hitting you with future BRACs.
So you better hope he's not as petty and vindictive as you are.
Because once he's confirmed - All of your bases belong to him.