Newhouse Statement on Inclusion of Central Washington Priorities in National Defense Bill

November 30, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) today released the following statement on the release of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report for consideration in the House:

“This bill continues strong provisions to meet the needs of our national defense and our troops,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Additionally, the inclusion of Central Washington priorities in the legislation unveiled today is good news for our community. From including my request for strong levels of Hanford funding, to the inclusion of land provisions at both the Port of Benton and the McNary Shoreline, on which I have worked closely with the local Tri-Cities community, I see this bill as a step forward for Hanford cleanup and local economic development. I am optimistic and will urge final passage as the House considers this legislation.”

Rep. Newhouse introduced H.R. 5017, the Port of Benton Restriction Release Act of 2016 this year, which was included in the NDAA to lift the conveyance restrictions on a 71.5 acre parcel of land that was deeded to the Port of Benton in 1996 by the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD).

The 2017 NDAA conference report unveiled today also includes language directing the Secretary of the Army to provide a report to the congressional defense committees by March 1, 2017 on the process by which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acquired certain properties, such as the McNary Shoreline, along the Columbia River by the Corps. The report will include the specific legal documentation pursuant to which the properties were acquired. The bill text reflects Rep. Newhouse’s McNary Shoreline Army Corps Report amendment.

The conference report for NDAA authorizes the level of funding requested by Congressman Newhouse to ensure the federal government meets its obligation at the Hanford Site. The report authorizes funding at $785,311,000, an increase from House-passed level of $769,811,000 for the Richland Operations Office (RL) and $1.4875 billion for the Office of River Protection (ORP).

Read the letter Rep. Newhouse sent to the House Armed Services Committee to request that support for Hanford cleanup be made a priority in the NDAA.