Illinois Rep. Bustos tours Rock Island Arsenal, talks latest defense bill

ROCK ISLAND---Congresswoman Cheri Bustos visited the Rock Island Arsenal Tuesday, November 21, to discuss the work negotiating and passing this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

Some of the provisions to the bill will directly affect the Rock Island Arsenal.

“We hope something good will come out of this that we can locate more people there we can create more jobs here and they can use the existing space here in the arsenal,” Says Bustos.

Under this year’s National Defense Authorization Act the military must verify there is no open space available at Arsenals before renting to non-military buildings at a cost of more than $750,000.

“There are spaces being rented all over the country that we can locate here (on the Rock Island Arsenal) so the idea is that we use tax payer dollars efficiently,” says Bustos.

Currently there are 850 furnished offices spaces on the Arsenal.

The bill also extends the ability for the arsenal to lease unused space through 2020.

“Empty buildings are like cars that aren't operating they tend to deteriorate if people are not in them and using them every day,” says General Duane Gamble, of the Army Sustainment Command.

Right now, the National Defense Authorization Act is waiting to be signed in to law by President Trump.