Department of Defense Increases Chemical Demilitarization Funding Request at McConnell's Urging
*DOD officials respond to McConnell's call for greater funding for chemical weapons disposal at BGAD*
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell today stated he was encouraged by the President's FY'08 budget, which includes funding for the disposal of chemical weapons located at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD). Senator McConnell reached out to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to highlight the importance of eliminating the stockpile of chemical weapons stored at the Richmond, Kentucky facility.
The initial budget request for the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) program was to be $297 million, which would have been significantly below last year's level. At McConnell's urging, the Department of Defense (DOD) revisited the issue and requested additional funds, bringing the FY'08 request to $351 million.
"I appreciate Secretary Gates taking this issue very seriously," said McConnell. "This increase in funding is welcome news to the people of Kentucky. While this is only the first step in the budget process, the citizens of Madison County can rest assured that I remain committed to the safe disposal of chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot."
The President's FY'08 budget was delivered to lawmakers today.