News Releases

Murray Applauds Bush Administration Support of Channel Deepening

Aug 13 2004

Attending Bush announcement event in Portland, Murray says new support a step forward, vows to work for funding

(SEATTLE, WA) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today applauded the Bush Administration's announcement of support for funding for the Columbia River Channel Deepening effort.

Just days after Murray sent a letter to the President calling for the Administration to back this important economic development project for the Northwest region, the President today announced his commitment to support $15 million to dredge and deepen 104 miles of the Columbia River.

Senator Murray has led the effort in the Senate to secure funds for the Columbia River Deepening Project. Murray secured $3.5 million last year and $10 million over the past five years for the project while the Administration has recommended no funding.

Murray today released the following statement:

"I'm pleased that President Bush today joined our bipartisan coalition in support of this important economic effort. The deepening of the Columbia River means jobs and competitiveness for our entire region.

This truly is a great day for southwest Washington. We now have the full support of the White House for a project years in the making, but our work is not done. I look forward to writing the Appropriations bill with my colleagues and bring good paying jobs and economic growth to our region.

While the Administration's support for the $15 million needed to move this project forward is an important step, there is still much work ahead. Congress must ensure that this promise of support becomes a reality. I have moved this project forward in the Senate, and I hope the House will now come to the table with increased funding.

We must also ensure that funding is there for shallow water ports in our rural communities. Last year, when the Army Corps of Engineer's budget was cut, I made sure that the Port of Chinook was dredged and able to stay open through the winter crab season. Shallow water ports are an important economic engine for rural communities, and I am proud to be able to support them. I will continue to use my position on the Energy and Water subcommittee to make sure that all of our ports have the resources they need to stay in business.

I'll work with anyone to make progress for Washington state, and I am pleased to say that the Administration is now a partner in our efforts."