U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved his request to fund chemical weapons destruction operations at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County, Kentucky. The Defense Appropriations bill also contains Senator McConnell's request to provide continued funding for the Kentucky National Guard's counter-drug operations in Eastern Kentucky.
The Defense Appropriations bill makes critical investments to support military readiness with an increase of $20.5 billion above current levels. The measure also includes a 3.1% pay raise for our troops, including those stationed in Ft. Campbell and Ft. Knox.
The provisions Senator McConnell secured for Kentucky in the Defense Appropriations bill include:
* $869 million for the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives Program which supports chemical demilitarization efforts at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky; and
* $220 million to support the National Guard Counter-Drug Program. The Kentucky National Guard, working with Appalachia HIDTA, Kentucky State Police, and other law enforcement agencies, will use funding from this program to support marijuana eradication efforts in Eastern Kentucky.
"As Senate Majority Leader, I'm constantly working to deliver federal funding to support our servicemembers and ensure Kentucky leads our country," said Senator McConnell. "Earlier this year, work began at the Blue Grass Army Depot's new state-of-the-art facility to neutralize the dangerous chemical stockpile stored in Madison County for more than a half-century, and I've insisted this critical national security operation has the necessary resources to finish the job as safely and quickly as possible."
"Through the Kentucky National Guard's dual mission, its brave men and women defend our nation abroad and protect communities here at home, and it's my high honor to support them in their duty. Now that the Appropriations Committee has approved this critical national defense legislation, I'll continue working to send it to the president's desk," Senator McConnell added.
The full Senate must now approve the Defense Appropriations bill.