Murray's Work

Senator Murray has worked hard to ensure that Congress enacts the policies and provides the funding necessary to support our homeland security priorities.

Northern Border

Senator Murray has worked hard to ensure that Washington state communities have adequate federal support to meet the costs of protecting our nation’s northern border.  Our state’s border crossings are some of the busiest in the United States, and allowing rapid, secure commerce and policing and prosecuting border-related crimes are important federal responsibilities.

Senator Murray worked for years to put in place the Northern Border Prosecution Initiative (NBPI) to authorize and fund assistance to northern border communities similar to that already in place along our nation’s southern borders.  NBPI builds on the success of Whatcom County’s “Fast Track” system in reducing prosecution backlogs and helps local communities pay for the millions it costs to jail and prosecute criminals involved of international drug trafficking and other federal border-related crime. 

After securing $3 million for NBPI in the Omnibus Appropriations Act passed in early 2009, Senator Murray wrote in March 2009 to urge the Department of Justice to release these funds as soon as possible.  In June 2009, the Department of Justice announced the release of NBPI grants to meet important northern border law enforcement needs.  These funds are particularly important to Washington as local communities focus on law enforcement and prosecution needs associated with the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Since 2005, a task force of federal, state and local officials has worked to address security needs related to the 2010 Winter Olympics that took place just across Washington’s northern border.  Senator Murray has worked to fund top priorities identified by these agencies in preparation for the Olympic Games.

As the Olympics took place, more than forty U.S., state, local and international law enforcement and security agencies synchronized operations.  Senator Murray has worked to fund a Multi-Agency Coordination Center near the border to ensure safe travel and transit across the border to and from British Columbia for the 2010 Olympics, securing $4 million in funding for 2009.  This Center continues to function now that the Olympics have ended, and will continue to coordinate the federal, state and local law enforcement that operate along the border.

Senator Murray worked to ensure rapid response and greater coordination for 2010 Olympics security needs by securing $500,000 through an integrated wireless communication network for first responders and $500,000 for training and exercises to ensure effective cooperation between the many responsible agencies.

Coast Guard

Senator Murray has supported funding for Washington state Coast Guard funding priorities.  Over the past several years, Senator Murray has worked to secure more than $300 million for production of the Response Boat – Medium (RB-M) that will replace the Coast Guard’s aging 41 foot utility boats that have now reached the end of their service lives.  The RB-M is being built at Kvichak Marine in Kent, Washington as well as in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and will support hundreds of Washington state jobs.

Senator Murray has also included funding in homeland security appropriations bills for the retrofitting of the Polar Star heavy icebreaker, an essential instrument of U.S. policy in the Arctic and Antarctic.  Retrofitting the Polar Star was competitively awarded to Seattle’s Todd Shipyards in 2008 and has been estimated to create or sustain more than 250 jobs in the Puget Sound region.

Replacement Laboratories at Hanford

Senator Murray has fought for years to require the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Energy to budget properly for replacement of research facilities at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  These research efforts support up to 900 jobs, and investment in replacement research facilities at Hanford is an investment in our nation’s security and scientific research capabilities. 

In 2008, Senator Murray secured $25 million for these replacement laboratory facilities.  After the Bush Administration failed to abide by its obligations and provide funding in the budget, in 2009, the Obama Administration agreed to budget for their replacement.  Senator Murray worked with the Administration to provide $12 million in appropriations for these new laboratory facilities in 2009.