(Washington D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today welcomed the announcement that $14.5 million in federal homeland security funding she fought for will be directed to Washington state's ports, ferries, buses, critical infrastructure, and cargo and commuter trains.
Murray called the grants a good first step, but warned that it falls short of what's needed.
"The latest intelligence report says terrorism is getting worse, but the Bush Administration is still refusing to invest what it takes to protect our ports. They're only funding one-third of the security needs at our ports, and I've had to fight with them to get even that much," Murray said. "That's why we need to complete work on my GreenLane cargo security bill, which provides the funding we need to protect our country."
Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced $14.5 million in security grants for Washington state.
Last year, the Bush Administration proposed eliminating the Port Security Grant Program. Murray used her position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to keep the program in place. Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it was directing $7.2 million in port security funding to the Port of Seattle and $2.5 million to the Port of Tacoma.
Nationwide, ports requested $540 million in security grants, but the Department of Homeland Security only funded $168 million of those requests (31 percent). The Ports of Everett and Vancouver USA requested funding for port security but were not granted funds today.
Last week, the Senate passed Murray's GreenLane cargo security bill. It would provide $400 million in port security grants. That bill is now being reconciled with the House of Representatives' version of the bill.
In addition to announcing funding for ports, today DHS also announced funding for transit security, ferries, rail and buffer protection. The funding announced today for Washington includes:
Port Security Grant Program
Port of Seattle - $7.4 million
Port of Tacoma – $2.5 million
Intercity Bus Security Grant Program
Transit Security Grant Program
Ferries - $2 million
Rail - $581,196
Buffer Zone Protection Program