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Senator McConnell Pursues Vigorous Oversight Of ACWA Program

Location: Washington, DC

Senator McConnell Pursues Vigorous Oversight Of ACWA Program

*Letter to Congressional "Watchdog" Agency Should Ensure Close Oversight of DOD*

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell today sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress's "watch dog," to urge the organization to pay close attention to enforcement of a recent provision in the FY 2005 Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The provision, authored by Senator McConnell, would ensure that the Department of Defense may not divert prior year Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) monies to other sites. It also forces the Department to spend $100 million at the ACWA sites within 4 months.

Senator McConnell wrote in his letter:

"any delay in implementation should be presumptively viewed as willful obstruction on the part of DOD. Thus, for the reasons discussed in this letter, I strongly urge GAO to treat any delay in DOD's execution of Section 1016 as an illegal policy impoundment, thus triggering GAO's enforcement powers . . . . To do any less would be to subvert the will of Congress, erode this body's oversight function and undermine Congress's ‘Power of the Purse.'"

Regarding this letter, Senator McConnell said, "these lethal chemical agents need to be safely and efficiently disposed of by DOD. I told the residents of Madison County that I would watch DOD like a hawk and I am fulfilling that promise."

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