Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is asking President Barack Obama to step in to avoid the looming military budget cuts threatening thousands of defense jobs in Virginia.

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell speaks during the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Aug. 28. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In his argument, McDonnell wrote to Obama that sequestration could cost nearly $21 billion in lost gross state product and nearly $11 billion in labor income. He also cites a study by George Mason University economist Stephen S. Fuller that predicts a loss of more than 200,000 jobs as a result of sequestration.

Proposed legislation that would avoid the cuts passed the House in May, but has stalled in the Senate. In closing, McDonnell requested that the president ”exert the leadership now required of your office” on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) to force a vote on the bill in the chamber.