Senator Murray Named to Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

Jan 10 2007

Murray’s New Defense Assignment Will Help Washington’s Military Bases, Troops and Communities

Critical subcommittee sets funding priorities of the Nation’s military

Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) was officially named a member of the Defense Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. This appointment will give Senator Murray new opportunities to advocate for Washington state’s military needs. The appointment will also allow Murray to have key oversight on defense strategy and spending. “I am very excited about the opportunities this new role presents for our state’s military installations, and the communities that depend on them,” said Senator Murray. “I will be a voice for Washington’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. I will ask the questions they would ask, and I will fight for the resources and support they need to do their jobs safely and successfully. Washington state families and communities make tremendous sacrifices for America’s security, and we owe them a great deal.” This appointment will also allow Senator Murray to take part in oversight hearings that will focus on the needs of the Department of Defense. The Defense Appropriations Subcommittee routinely is given the opportunity to hear testimony from and question the Secretary of Defense and other key Department of Defense officials. “This position will allow me a chance to ensure that the Bush Administration is no longer given a blank check when it comes to the Iraq War,” said Senator Murray. “I can assure the people of Washington state that when Defense Secretary Gates and others appear before me, I will thoroughly examine the funding decisions they are making on behalf of our country’s military.” The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. It is tasked with reviewing budget requests, drafting legislation allocating federal funds for discretionary defense spending, and holding hearings on defense spending matters. Last year, the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee oversaw a budget of $447.6 billion, by far the largest of any of the Appropriations subcommittees. Washington state, home to many of the nation’s largest and most vital military instillations, draws substantial funding each year from the annual Defense Subcommittee Appropriations bill that is put together by the Subcommittee that Murray will now sit on. “From Fort Lewis, Naval Air Station - Whidbey, to Fairchild Air Force Base, and in between, our state depends heavily on defense spending,” said Senator Murray. “I have worked hard to investigate the needs of our varied military resources, and I will work hard to communicate them in Washington D.C. Every base, every ship, and every service member I represent should know that I am open to their concerns and will be dedicated to our military’s well-being.” Through this subcommittee, Senator Murray will also continue to push for a modern and efficient defense system. This will help in her overall effort to protect the state’s military bases from closure during the BRAC Commission’s recommendation process. “As always, I will continue to fight to show the strategic importance of our state’s military bases,” said Senator Murray. “This additional new role provides another way for me to advocate for Washington state’s needs during the BRAC process.”