News Releases

Murray Announces Critical Dollars for Ports, Emergency Responders, Coast Guard and PNNL

Jul 13 2006

U.S. Senate Passes Millions for Washington’s Homeland Security Needs

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) –U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) today announced full Senate passage of the Senate Homeland Security appropriations bill, which provides critical funding for security needs in Washington state and across the nation.

As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Murray played an integral part in adding more than $1.2 billion to the bill for increased port and border security, and programs ranging from grants for firefighter and law enforcement training to funding staff at local county emergency response call centers.

“"Homeland security is a national issue and one that requires shared sacrifice,”" Senator Murray said. “"I am pleased that the Senate agreed to improve upon the President’s funding numbers and provide our local first responders and border patrol agents with more of the funding, training and resources they need to keep our communities safe."”

Murray, who helped to manage the bill as it proceeded on the Senate floor, also succeeded in securing funds for Kvichak Marine of Seattle and Safe Boats International of Port Orchard to build additional boats for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Senator Murray also announced $400 million in Port Security Grants, up from the $173 million appropriated in Fiscal Year 2006. Murray has been a leading voice in the Senate for increased funding for port and cargo security and her GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act – co-sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and waiting to be brought to the floor of the Senate – would authorize, fund and enforce comprehensive cargo security standards for our nation.

"“Nearly five years after the horrific attacks of September 11th, and less than a year after the Dubai Ports World scandal, Congress should step up and pass the GreenLane act,"” Murray said. “"It is far past time that we close what security experts continually call the gaping hole in our nation’'s security and fund port and cargo security. Without it, we leave our people and our economy exposed to those who would do us harm.”"

Murray was also successful in adding an additional $2 million in funding specifically for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as part of the Capability Replacement Laboratory project.

PNNL currently conducts WMD detection and nonproliferation research in the 300 Area of the Hanford Site and must relocate from this area to make way for the on going cleanup of the Hanford Site. These funds will help ensure the replacement facilities are constructed in a timely fashion and prevent a lapse of this critical research.

Additionally, the bill provides $20.6 million in U.S Coast Guard funding for the Puget Sound Region.

Funding for Washington state priorities include:

  • Providing for 20 additional FTEs at the Bellingham Northern Border Air Wing, bringing it to full staffing.

  • $20.6 million for U.S. Coast Guard District 13 in Seattle.

  • $24.75 million for the Response Boat Medium program in Kvichak Shipyard in Seattle.
  • $880000 to finish the breakwater at Neah Bay.

  • $2.1 million for the U.S. Coast Guard's Sector Command building in Seattle.

  • $2 million for the construction of radiological laboratories at PNNL.

Funding for national programs includes:

  • $400 million in Port Security Grants – up from $173 million in FY 2006. The President's budget request would have eliminated this program.

  • $220 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants- Up from $170 million requested by President Bush.

  • $655 million for Firefighter Assistance Grants – nearly doubles the President’s $293.5 million request.

  • $350 million for the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program – the President’s request would have eliminated this program.

  • $35 million for the Metropolitan Medical Response program – the President’s request would have eliminated this program.

  • $25 million for Demonstration Training Grants – the President’s request would have eliminated this program.

The bill also rejects the President’s plan to place an additional tax on air travelers, and provides for an more than 1,000 additional border patrol agents.