Senator Dick Durbin, who organized the gathering in Washington, says the starting point was simple: "We are not going to save a base in Illinois at the expense of another base in Illinois."
Jack Lavin, the director of the Illinois' commerce agency, says the state also plans to try to drum up new military uses for its bases so that they may expand.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert says if Illinois can hold on to what it has in the next round of base closings it will be in pretty good shape.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has certified to Congress that the next round of base closures must proceed next year because the military has about 24 percent more base capacity than it needs.
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