Durbin Hosts Meeting with Bipartisan Southwestern Illinois Congressional Delegation & St. Clair County to Discuss NGA West
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today hosted a meeting with U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) to discuss the site selection process for the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) facility with St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern. The group was also joined by former U.S. Representative Jerry Costello (D-IL) and retired Air Force General Duncan McNabb, who served as Commander of Air Mobility Command and U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base. Photos from today’s meeting are available here.
“I convened today’s meeting so that Southwestern Illinois’ bipartisan congressional delegation could hear directly from our partners in St. Clair County as we coordinate our response to the site selection of NGA West,” Durbin said. “For two years, we have worked together to present a bid for the new NGA facility that reflects the very best of what Scott Air Force Base and Southwestern Illinois have to offer. Over the next two weeks, we will continue to fight for Scott and to make that case.”
“I will take full advantage of the comment period by highlighting the glaring errors and falsehoods within the report,” Kirk said.
“Southern Illinois’ fight for NGA is not over,” Bost said. “I am working closely with local and federal officials, Republicans and Democrats, to get answers to the most pressing questions regarding NGA’s intent to relocate to North St. Louis. I remain as sure as rain that this facility should be in St. Clair County, and I will continue to make that case until the very end of this process.”
“In terms of mission support, security and cost, the St. Clair County site adjacent to Scott AFB remains the superior choice for the new NGA West,” said U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL), who was represented by staff at the meeting. “Until a final decision is rendered, I’ll continue working with my colleagues to persuade NGA to reconsider their initial site choice.”
On April 1, the NGA announced that the Agency Preferred Alternative for the new NGA West Campus was the site in North St. Louis, and not the St. Clair County site next to Scott Air Force Base. Although the public comment period on this decision was initially just two weeks, on April 8, NGA Director Robert Cardillo extended the deadline through May 2 upon the request of Kirk, Durbin, Bost, Shimkus, and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL). Durbin convened today’s meeting to receive a briefing on St. Clair County’s assessment of the NGA decision in anticipation of the new deadline for public comment on the site selection.
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