Bill includes increased funding for Sexual Victims’ Counsel program, Icebreakers, and Growler Noise Reduction


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, applauded the inclusion of critical federal funding for defense projects in Washington state in the 2017 spending bill. The 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill, which passed through the Subcommittee on Defense today with bipartisan support, includes several of Sen. Murray’s key priorities including an additional $1 billion for a new heavy icebreaker and $25 million for the Special Victims’ Counsel programs.

“I am glad to see some critically important provisions included in this legislation that provide for the men and women who serve our country and invest in local priorities across our state,” Senator Murray said. “I believe this bill goes a long way in achieving that goal, but I know we still have our work cut out for us, so I will keep pushing for these priorities as this bill moves forward.”

The $1 billion provided for a new heavy icebreaker will help protect America’s national security interests in the Arctic. In the Fiscal Year 2015 Appropriations Omnibus, Sen. Murray secured $8 million in federal funding for the polar icebreaker USCGC Polar Sea, as well as language requiring the Navy to work with the Coast Guard to develop a plan to expand icebreaker capacity. The U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle is home to the nation’s icebreaking fleet.

As a leading advocate for military survivors of sexual assault, Senator Murray also secured an additional $25 million to expand the Special Victims’ Counsel programs to ensure every military survivor of sexual assault receives legal advice and advocacy. Sen. Murray authored the legislation in the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that created the requirement for these programs in each military service branch.

Sen. Murray also successfully secured $5 million in funding for the Women in Military Service Museum at Arlington National Cemetery, the only memorial dedicated to honoring women servicemembers from all branches of the military and committed to making their stories a permanent part of America’s history by educating the public about their important role in our national defense. 

Other highlights of the bill:

  • $12 million for two additional Mark VI Patrol Boats manufactured by SAFE Boats in Tacoma
  • $2 million to continue research into noise reduction for the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler
  • An additional $207 million to procure two C-40A aircraft manufactured by Boeing in Renton, WA