Rumors of military base closure are stirring in Congress, and Illinois’ two U.S. senators want to keep Scott Air Force Base out of that discussion. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) says lawmakers in Washington are already getting nervous about the potential of a new Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) being formed, so he’s making the case that Scott shouldn’t be touched.
“Scott Air Force Base is a critical part of America’s national defense, and it’s critical to the economy of Illinois and the St. Louis region,” Durbin said.
The base generates $2.3 billion dollars for the local economy and employs about 13,000 people, according to Durbin. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) says he’s been reassured about Scott’s importance by the chief of staff of the Air Force, who visited the base last week.
“The future of Scott was not tied to one specific airplane,” Kirk said.
Scott has survived closure commissions in 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005. If there were another set of closures, they would happen in 2017.