(Washington, D.C.) -- In a major victory for the Hanford cleanup effort, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) last night convinced her colleagues to increase funding for nuclear waste cleanup by passing the Crapo-Murray Amendment to the federal budget. The amendment, which passed unanimously, restores President Bush's proposed cut of $425 million to the Department of Energy's Environmental Management program and adds an additional $600 million for nuclear cleanup efforts across the country.

"President Bush thought he could pay for his tax cut by taking money away from nuclear cleanup efforts like Hanford. Last night, the Senate put President Bush on notice that Americans want these sites cleaned up immediately," Murray said. "This amendment blocks President Bush's cut and adds another $600 million to cleanup efforts. "

"The people of the Tri-Cities sacrificed to help us win World War II and the Cold War. At a minimum, they should not be endangered by the 53 million gallons of highly radioactive waste stored in underground tanks just miles from the Columbia River," Murray said.

This week, the Senate debated the budget resolution, which provides a broad outline of funding levels for the budget. The Crapo-Murray amendment ensures that there will be additional budget authority for nuclear cleanup efforts.

Murray, who serves on the Appropriation Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, has been a longtime advocate for the Hanford Cleanup effort. On March 14, Murray, along with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), announced the creation of the Senate Nuclear Waste Cleanup Caucus. The caucus is a bi-partisan effort by members of the U.S. Senate to promote nuclear cleanup and funding for cleanup projects, like the Hanford Reservation. Murray and Crapo established the Caucus to focus attention and increase funding to clean up nuclear contamination and waste resulting from our victories in World War II and the Cold War.