(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today voted to confirm Michael Chertoff to head the Department of Homeland Security.

Earlier this month, Senator Murray met with Chertoff in her Washington, D.C. office. As the Senate’s most vocal advocate for improving our nation’s port security, Murray used the meeting as an opportunity to press for a true commitment by the Administration to secure our ports and establish uniform security standards for all cargo containers entering the U.S.

Murray released the following statement on Chertoff’s confirmation:

“I am confident that Secretary Chertoff understands the unique security needs of Washington state. I appreciate his responsiveness and commitment to work with me to plug the holes in our port security system.

The safety and economic strength of Washington state and the nation depend on improving our port security and creating national standards for screening container cargo. I’ve been working for years to establish these critical standards. We’ve made progress, but there is still much work to do. In order to move forward, we need a real commitment from the Bush Administration.

Secretary Chertoff has taken on an enormous and important responsibility. I am eager to work with him to fully address our homeland security needs. His first task is to convince the Administration to fulfill its duty to provide the necessary resources to secure our ports and borders and train our first responders. Homeland security cannot and should not be an unfunded mandate passed on to our already cash-strapped states.”