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Commissary Guardians: Modernize? OK. Privatize? No Way!

June 8, 2016

DECA SealMilitary associations and the resale industry that supplies groceries to base commissaries are sounding alarms over a provision in the Senate’s fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill that would direct the Department of Defense to privatize up to five of its 240 base grocery stores for two years to assess if a commercial grocer can run the entire system.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is behind the initiative. After years of debate, he wants to learn whether a supermarket chain can operate base grocery stores so efficiently as to generate profits and still deliver robust savings to shoppers, saving taxpayers more than $1 billion annually, a committee source explained.

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