Senator McConnell Wins One for the People of Richmond, Kentucky
*McConnell legislation imposes deadline on cleanup efforts at BGAD*
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday that the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted his amendment to the FY '08 Defense Appropriations bill. McConnell's measure imposes a deadline of 2017 on the Department of Defense (DOD) to complete disposal of chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD). Without this amendment, DOD has indicated it would not finish disposal at BGAD before 2023.
"For the past two decades, the cleanup of these dangerous chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot has been a top priority for me. I have continued to put pressure on the Department of Defense to get the job done and I will continue to keep their feet to the fire until all the weapons are disposed off and the community is safe."
"My amendment in the Defense Appropriations bill gives the DOD ten years to complete its work on chemical weapons disposal at the Blue Grass Army Depot," McConnell said. "Without a firm deadline, DOD will continue to drag its feet, and this is unacceptable to me and to the people of Madison County, Kentucky."
Earlier this year, Senator McConnell introduced a similar amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. However, Democratic Leader Harry Reid withdrew the bill from the Senate floor before the McConnell amendment could be addressed.
McConnell added, "I will continue to take every opportunity to accelerate disposal efforts at the Blue Grass Army Depot, and this includes fighting to ensure my defense authorization amendment is included in that bill when it returns to the Senate floor for consideration. Between these two bills it is my hope we can get this deadline enacted into law."
In related news, Senator McConnell also secured $28 million in additional funding for clean up at the Blue Grass Army Depot in the FY '08 Defense Appropriations bill.
The FY '08 Defense Appropriations bill must now be approved by the full Senate.