A bipartisan group of senators representing states with significant military footprints is pressing the Pentagon for an update on junior enlisted barracks and how much money is actually needed for renovations and construction.
The six lawmakers from Georgia, Texas, Florida and North Carolina are pointing to media reports and a damning Government Accountability Office report from September that many troops are forced to live in poor and unsafe conditions. Issues include pest infestations, mold, sewage backups, unsecured doors, shoddy ventilation and, in some cases, cramming too many troops into living quarters.
“At a time when the Department of Defense is rightly working to address serious recruitment and retention issues, reports of poor living conditions serve only to dissuade qualified Americans from considering military service,” the senators wrote in a letter last week to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
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The letter was signed by Sens. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; and Ted Budd, R-N.C. The six represent states with some of the largest military installations, particularly Army bases, which have been hit especially hard in the media and by troops on social media highlighting quality-of-life issues.
Those locations include North Carolina's Fort Liberty,…