PRESIDENT'S 2011 BUDGET REQUEST FULLY FUNDS CHEMICAL WEAPONS DISPOSAL EFFORTS IN COLORADO AND KENTUCKY
The President's 2011 budget includes the Pentagon request of almost $511 million for the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) program that is responsible for disposing of the chemical weapons stockpiles in Pueblo, Colorado and Richmond, Kentucky.
Last year Senator Mitch McConnell got an agreement from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to "fully-fund" ACWA at an average expenditure of $517 million per year for the next five years. With last year's amount of $550 million, today's request puts the average over two years at $530 million-a little higher then what was promised.
CWWG Project Director Craig Williams said, "The 2011 request is most welcome and reflects the commitment by Secretary Gates to Senator McConnell to follow through on his promise to fully-fund the program designed to destroy the stockpiles of chemical weapons in CO and KY. It is the first time ever that two consecutive budget requests have sought the funds necessary to maintain the momentum towards the disposal objective."
In years past funds have been cut to the program to a point where in 2005 there was almost nothing to work with. Prior to the revised five-year funding plan the budget for 2010 was to be $301 million, and 2011, $265 million. Compared to last year's actual funded amount of $550 million and this year's amount of $511 million, the difference of $495 million in just two years is significant.
Williams added, "This two years of full-funding reflects very well on Senator McConnell's and Representative Chandler's dogged pursuit of securing consistent and adequate resources towards the execution of demilitarization program."
Defense Appropriations Committees of both the House and Senate will now consider the requested funds before the final Bill makes its way to the President for final approval, expected sometime in October.
Madison County Kentucky Judge Executive Kent Clark said, "I'm sure we can count on the entire Kentucky delegation in Washington to hold the line on the amount requested to make sure the resources are there to continue moving forward with this important project."
a copy of the 2011 request is available from the CWWG upon request