WASHINGTON - Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement regarding H.R. 2397, the FY 2014 Department of Defense appropriations bill, which includes a provision that would keep the President’s sequester from furloughing the Blue Grass Army Depot’s personnel:
"I support this legislation because it is the best chance to stop the furloughs at the Blue Grass Army Depot that are compromising national security and hurting Kentucky families.
“The bill, which includes a bipartisan amendment to prevent the ongoing civilian furloughs at BGAD and other installations, will help ensure we can maintain the highly skilled, operational security force necessary to protect both the local communities and the weaponized chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
"It is important to recognize that all of the Blue Grass Army Depot’s 760 employees are critical to the operation of the only storage and demilitarization facility for conventional and weaponized chemical weapons in the entire United States.
"We have successfully demonstrated the critical need for the 172 Blue Grass Army Depot security and emergency response to be exempt from furlough, but that leaves another 588 critical personnel whose ability to complete their mission is compromised by the sequester’s flawed, across-the-board-cuts that force furloughs.”
Specifically, the amendment prohibits funding from being used to furlough civilian Department of Defense employees who are paid from the Working Capital Fund Account if the reason for the furlough is due to sequestration.
All 760 Blue Grass Army Depot employees from counties across the Sixth District, primarily including Madison, Estill and Powell Counties, are considered “indirectly funded government employees” who are paid by the Working Capital Fund Account. The Working Capital Fund Account are revolving funds that require a one-time congressional appropriation to establish the fund, and then operates on a break-even, self-supporting basis from revenues on the sale of goods and services to customers.
Congressman Barr will support final passage of H.R. 2397. Following passage, expected later today, the legislation will move to the Senate for consideration.
More information about H.R. 2397:
- Reduces defense spending by $5.1 billion below the FY13 enacted level—making common-sense cuts that do not affect military readiness or effectiveness.
- These reductions include:
- $1 billion in anticipated excess funding
- $437 million in savings from a proposed civilian pay raise
- $2.1 billion in savings from rescissions of unused, prior-year funds
- Dedicates $33.6 billion to the health and well being of our troops, military families, and retirees—an increase of $858 million above the FY13 enacted level.
- Instructs the Department of Defense to purchase only American-made equipment and products, provided that American-made equipment and products are cost-competitive, quality competitive, and available in a timely fashion.