Weapons Complex Monitor
June 12, 2013
Kyl Suggests Pentagon Could Be Best Place For NNSA Autonomy
Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, who retired from the Senate earlier this year,
suggested yesterday that the National Nuclear Security Administration
needs more autonomy to better do its job, and he argued that freedom
could come by shifting NNSA under the Pentagon. Before he left the
Senate, Kyl helped author legislation that created a 12-member NNSA
governance panel that will make recommendations about the future of the
agency, and after a speech at the Capitol Hill Club yesterday, Kyl said
he believed it would be better if the NNSA could regain the autonomy
that lawmakers initially intended for the agency when it was created
more than a decade ago, but he said he doubted that could happen. “If
you could get the leadership of DOE or the Administration straightened
out as to the original intent, which was to have a truly independent
entity, theoretically it could still work in DOE, but absent that I
think it would be better probably as a part of DoD,” Kyl told NW&M
During a question-and-answer session after his speech,
Kyl also emphasized that the panel would have to wrestle with the
appropriate place in Congress for oversight of the agency as well. “Over
the last dozen or so years the problems with this setup as well as the
problems within both the House and Senate appropriations committees have
just decimated the program,” Kyl said. “When one chairman of the
appropriations committee, who has some conflicts of interest because
they’ve got some water projects to fund, can make the difference here,
something is clearly wrong,” Kyl said.
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