News Releases

Senator Murray Passes Amendment that Requires Assessment of FBI Presence in Washington State and Across the Country

Oct 16 2007

Lack of prosecutions in traditional law enforcement areas, rise in violent crime point to need to increase the number of agents

(Washington D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today voted to pass the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill which contained a Murray-authored amendment that requires the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to report back to Congress about where they are placing their agents, analysts, and other personnel. Senator Murray is concerned by reports that show the FBI's increased role in terrorism operations has significantly reduced prosecutions in more traditional areas of the Bureau's law enforcement mission. Senator Murray is working to increase the FBI presence in Washington state and across the country. 

"In the post 9/11 world, we have asked the FBI to make terrorism their top priority, but criminals haven’t stopped abusing children, robbing stores, or dealing drugs," Senator Murray said. "We need to take a look at how the FBI is utilizing its current agents and work to increase the total number of agents in order to keep our communities safe."

Senator Murray's amendment requires that 60 days after the enactment of the CJS Appropriations bill the FBI must submit a report to the Appropriations Committees of each House that evaluates the FBI's current workforce allocation and assesses how the realignment of agents, analysts, and support personnel could better meet the FBI's mission requirements.

Washington State Concerns

Reporting by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer over the past years has revealed that Washington state currently has a paltry 2.1 FBI agents for every 100,000 residents which is nearly half the national average. Senator Murray is currently working to increase funding for the FBI to increase staffing levels. She has also discussed her concerns with FBI Director Robert Mueller III. 

Read the investigative reporting series by the Seattle PI.

Read or listen to a speech Senator Murray delivered on the Senate floor.