(The Center Square) – Six South Carolina Republican members of Congress have filed legislation that would prohibit federal funds from being used to close or plan the closure of the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.
The Parris Island Protection Act is sponsored by U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson, Ralph Norman, Jeff Duncan, William Timmons, Tom Rice and Nancy Mace, who represents South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, where Parris Island is located.
"Since opening over a century ago, Parris Island has served a vital role in the defense of America," Mace said in a statement. "Over one million brave marines have trained at the base and served our country in every conflict since World War I, including every woman who has ever served as a marine.”
The legislation was filed in response to reports the U.S. Marine Corps was considering shutting down the Parris Island depot in order to meet the gender integration requirements included in the National Defense Authorization Act, according to a news release from Wilson’s office.
“Parris Island and its facilities provide unique value to South Carolina and the Marines, and I have no doubt that it can meet the standards set forth by the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act,” Wilson said in a statement. “Any proposals to close the base are misguided, especially given the facility’s significant economic impact and the thousands of jobs it provides for the State of South Carolina.”
Parris Island’s economic impact on South Carolina totals about $740 million each year, including 6,100 jobs, according to a report prepared for the South Carolina military base in 2017.