Durbin Reaffirms Support for Rock Island Arsenal (Audio)

April  04, 2013

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Despite military budget cuts and sequestration, the commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command plans to make sure soldiers continue to have everything they need. Wednesday morning on Arsenal Island, Brigadier General John Wharton told Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin what the command needs in order to be prepared for war even during peacetime.

Thousands of federal employees on Arsenal Island must take 14 furlough days beginning in May or June. And hundreds of other positions have already been cut due to the drawdown in Afghanistan, plus job reductions that began two years ago. Durbin says he'll use his new position as Chair of the Senate's Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to help make sure the Joint Technology Manufacturing Center and other agencies on Arsenal Island continue to thrive.

The senator also met with officials from the Corps of Engineers to talk about the need to improve the Mississippi River's Lock and Dam system. Durbin says it's vital to the nation's economy, and he wants more private funding for infrastructure projects.

Durbin says he and other members of congress have introduced a bill which would create a pilot program for the Corps to work with companies and industry groups to plan and pay for maintenance and repairs.