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Policy

Senate restores funds for arms destruction site

May 17, 2004 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 82, ISSUE 20

After much lobbying from Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to restore nearly $147 million for the Army's Pueblo, Colo., chemical weapons destruction program that the Pentagon had cut from its fiscal 2005 budget. The cut left less than $5 million to begin construction on the neutralization facility and would have set back the site's destruction schedule up to two years. The deleted funds were to be distributed to other Army chemical weapons disposal facilities under construction. The House Armed Services and Appropriations Committees are expected to endorse the Senate action that restored the Pueblo funds. Allard says Pueblo's 2,600 tons of mainly mustard agent-filled weapons need "to be disposed of for homeland security reasons and to meet the 2012 Chemical Weapons Convention ... deadline." Restoring the funds to the original requested level of nearly $152 million gives the project "a good chance of going forward on time, as planned," Allard says.

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