News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) helped to pass the 2009 budget resolution by a vote of 48-45 in the U.S. Senate. The budget resolution sets spending levels for the upcoming fiscal year. As the second-ranking Democratic member of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Murray was able to include increases in spending levels for several programs that are critical to Washington state residents.

"This budget will allow Congress to begin investing at home again," said Senator Murray. "At a time when our economy is faltering, this budget makes hard working American families our top priority."

"This budget also pays attention to the needs of Washington state," said Senator Murray. "From supporting job growth, to Hanford, to protecting our ports, this budget will allow me to fight for the real support we deserve."

HANFORD

The 2009 budget resolution includes $500 million for the Environmental Management (EM) program at nuclear sites across the country. The EM program was created to safely manage the cleanup of nuclear weapon production sites, like Hanford, and focuses on completing clean up of these sites efficiently and effectively. This funding will help restore harmful cuts made to the EM program by the Bush administration.

"This budget honors communities like the Tri-Cities that have sacrificed for the sake of our nation," said Senator Murray. "This funding will honor our commitment to facilities like Hanford after years of cuts, and will get us back on track to meet critical clean-up goals."

PORT SECURITY

The budget includes $400 million for the Port Security Grant program that Senator Murray in her landmark 2006 SAFE Port Act which takes critical steps forward in securing our nation's ports, while maintaining the efficiency of our trade. The $400 million included in this budget is the full funding level for the port security grant program as agreed upon by the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, port authorities, and numerous other public and private entities. It also restores $200 million in cuts that the President proposed to the program. This year Washington state received more than $29 million under this program.

"This victory makes way for more bomb and chemical detectors, cameras, and security gates at our state's ports to help keep our people safe and our economy moving," said Senator Murray. "It will also help fund the training and exercises our ports have told us they need to prepare for an emergency."

WORKFORCE

The President's budget made harmful cuts to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) including close to $1 billion in cuts over the last seven years and $484 million from critical workforce training programs this year alone. The budget resolution includes funding to help replenish WIA funding.

"This budget addresses the responsibility we have to help workers acquire the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the 21st century," said Senator Murray. "This is especially important during such turbulent economic times, when families are struggling to make ends meet and the cost of everything from food to gas continues to rise. With more than that 7.6 million people out of work we can't allow the Administration to get away with eliminating funds for training programs that represent the gateway to the working world."