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Government, Politics & Issues

Mo. Congressmembers discuss possibility of base closings

Hartzler, Luetkemeyer and Akin2.jpg
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
(l-r) Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R), Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R), and Congressman Todd Akin (R) attend a meeting at the Mo. Capitol to discuss the possibility of another round of military base closings.

Three members of Missouri’s congressional delegation met at the State Capitol Wednesday to voice opposition to another round of base closings.

Although there are no scheduled base closings anywhere in the U.S. right now, the Obama Administration is pushing for another round of discussions that could begin as early as next year.  Congressman Todd Akin (R) from the St. Louis area says now’s not the time to close military facilities, especially in Missouri.

“At one time, this was a couple of years ago, Missouri was like the 5th biggest defense contractor out of the whole country," Akin said.  "That’s a big part of our economy and something that we should be paying attention to.”

Fellow Congressional Republicans Vicky Hartzler and Blaine Luetkemeyer told the crowd of around 100 state and local officials, business leaders and vets that a united voice is needed to prevent closures or downsizing at Ft. Leonard Wood, Whiteman Air Force base and other military facilities in Missouri.  Twyla Cordry owns a small business in St. Robert, near Ft. Leonard Wood in central Missouri.

“I don’t know that they would close our base, they might downsize it, but if they were to downsize it, we’re talking major job loss in our area like you’ve had in a lot of the communities out in California," Cordry said.  "The whole area would be affected, I don’t know of any other way to say it.”

Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has also voiced opposition to closing any more military bases.  She is seeking re-election this year.  Akin is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate and hopes to challenge McCaskill in November.

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