Jason Plummer, the Republican nominee for the 12th Illinois U.S. House District, has released a plan to grow Scott Air Force Base and protect it from deep budget cuts if Congress can't reach a deal on a deficit-cutting plan by early January.
"The base is the largest employer in Southern Illinois and has an annual economic impact of more than $3 billion," Plummer announced in a press release. "Not only does Scott provide a boost to our local economy, but it plays a crucial role in our nation's defense.
Congress has given itself a deadline of early January 2013 to reach a deal on a plan to cut the nation's $16-trillion public debt. If no plan is approved, then an automatic cut known as a "sequester" would take effect, lopping about $1.2 trillion off the federal budget over the next 10 years.
If the sequester occurs, then "$500 billion will be arbitrarily cut from the Department of Defense budget," Plummer announced. "This would be catastrophic our local economy and national defense."
Plummer, 30, of O'Fallon, faces Democratic nominee Bill Enyart, 62, of Belleville, and Green Party nominee Paula Bradshaw, 59, of Carbondale in the Nov. 6 election to replace U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, who is retiring after 24 years in office.