Funding for Blue Grass Army Depot expected to remain study

Despite many new members of Congress elected in 2010 running on platforms to reduce federal spending, congressional leaders are optimistic that the funding for the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky, will remain steady.

In 2009, Congress and the Defense Department agreed to a funding formula that would ease the destruction of all chemical weapons stored in the Blue Grass Army Depot by 2021. In 2010, the budget request by the president was to allocate $511 million for the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, while $251.8 million was allocated for the Richmond facility, the Richmond Register reports.

U.S. Representative Ben Chandler had stated during the 2010 political season that if many candidates aligned with the Tea Party movement were elected, funding for the depot might be compromised. Chandler lost his seat on the House of Representative Appropriations Committee when the Republicans gained the majority in the November election.

Funding may still not be affected though as long as U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., remains in the position as minority leader with an increased Republican to Democrat Ratio, now 47-53, up from 41-57, with two independents, according to the Richmond Register.

"Senator McConnell has long supported disposal efforts as the Blue Grass Army Depot and will continue to work to ensure that the chemical weapons stored at the facility are not only disposed of safely but also quickly," Robert Steurer, McConnell's press aid, said, according to the Richmond Register. "This program has been a top priority for the Senator who has worked tirelessly to ensure the program is fully funded by personally securing hundreds of millions of dollars."