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Timeline of Base-Closure Process

A look at the next steps in the base-closure process.

—May 16, 2005: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld (search) and Gen. Richard B. Myers (search), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify before the nine-member base closing commission.

—May through August: The commission will hold public hearings, conduct site visits, and collect data on each facility on the Pentagon's list to determine whether the Defense Department proposal was justified. The commission can vote to add facilities to the list, but it takes seven of the nine members to do so. A simple majority vote would suffice to remove bases from the list.

—Sept. 8, 2005: The commission must forward its report of recommendations to the president.

—Sept. 23, 2005: The president must accept or reject the recommendations in their entirety. If they are accepted, Congress has 45 legislative days or until the end of its 2005 session to reject the recommendations in their entirety or they become final.

If they are disapproved, the commission has until Oct. 20, 2005, to submit a revised report to the president. The president has until Nov. 7, 2005, to approve a revised report and send it to Congress.

—The Pentagon then has six years to close, relocate or downsize bases on the final list.