WASHINGTON - Sen. Patty Murray continued her criticism of President Obama's proposed cuts for cleanup of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, taking his budget director to task at a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee which she leads.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Office of Management and Budget director, defended the proposed Hanford cuts, as well as the rest of the president's budget, during this morning's hearing.
“A number of those programs are for pieces of work that have been completed,” Burwell said. “The administration is committed to make the progress we need at Hanford.”
Murray wasn't convinced: “Yeah, well we have really serious challenges in making progress at these nuclear clean up sites across the country,” she said. “We need a long term, sustainable plan for this.”
The Department of Energy said Tuesday it has made significant progress at the site and has shrunk the size of the cleanup area. As a result, the department plans to shift money to other cleanup sites.
In January, Congress approved $2.15 billion for cleanup at the nuclear weapons facility. Obama's budget has $2.083 billion.