Wilson Continues Fight for SRS During Government Shutdown

Oct 11, 2013
Press Release
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after the House passed H.J. Res. 76, the Nuclear Weapon Security and Non-Proliferation Act, a bill that funds the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) throughout the remainder of the government shutdown.

“Because of the President’s government shutdown, vital missions at the Savannah River Site (SRS) have been stalled with thousands of hardworking employees subject to furloughs. The passage of today’s bill allows SRS to continue NNSA operations and provides the dedicated workforce with the resources they need to complete fundamental national security missions. 

“Over the past few weeks, constituents have reached out to me expressing tremendous concerns over ceased Site operations. As a former employee and the Site’s home-district advocate, I remain committed to helping families living in the Aiken-Barnwell community during this distressing time.  Although I am pleased that a bipartisan group in the House has approved resources for the NNSA, it is Congress’ responsibility to fund Environmental Management operations as well. 

“Last week, I introduced legislation to keep every organization at the Savannah River Site up and running during the government shutdown.  Every single mission at the Site plays an intricate role in protecting our national security. In the coming days, I will continue to encourage Congressional leadership to restore funding to the Office of Environmental Management.  It is shameful that the President’s announced refusal to negotiate a solution to the shutdown has placed such harsh impositions on American families,” Congressman Joe Wilson said.

***Congressman Wilson also delivered a floor speech this morning in support of H.J. Res. 76.  Please find the video here. Text is provided below:

“…Funding our national security interests within the Department of Energy must be a priority in order to protect every American family.  Today, the House will pass an important measure that will fund the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The NNSA will provide a necessary resource that is critical and allows our country to continue operations for dozens of vital national security missions. I am fortunate to represent the Department of Energy Savannah River Site in Aiken and Barnwell Counties, South Carolina. I especially appreciate its personnel as the only member of Congress who has actually worked at the Site. The passage of this bill is essential, as it will provide our dedicated workers who are handling these operations the security they need to complete their vital missions. Our nation is a much safer place because of ongoing Tritium operations and the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication facility currently under construction at SRS. These missions are essential to our nation’s national security as they allow us to service our nuclear stockpile and honor international nuclear obligations of nonproliferation. Additionally, the Savannah River Site, which established victory during the Cold War, has thousands of committed employees working on Department of Energy-Environmental Management projects. These professionals also provide crucial services to our country through their nuclear nonproliferation and environmental cleanup efforts. Although I am encouraged by today’s legislation, I remain hopeful that Congress can work together to provide necessary funding for these projects as well…”