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Competing agendas vie over future of CMRR<div class='source'></div><div class='image-desc'>Heinrich and Lujan voted for the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that funds lab cleanup.</div><div class='buy-pic'></div>

Lab: Multiple legislative bills also address cleanup

By John Severance

Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm (Updated: June 10, 6:11 am)

Analyzing what’s happening in Washington when it comes to funding environmental cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory and funding for the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement can be somewhat of a tricky proposition.

It seems everybody has their own agenda.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed its version of the FY13 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

The bill would earmark $215 million for cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory and there wouldbe no funding for the CMRR project.

Congressmen Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Martin Heinrich both voted for the measure.

“While the bill is not perfect, it does provide critical funding to the national labs, including Los Alamos, which is critical for New Mexico’s economy. And even though it does not include additional money I fought to add through an amendment for environmental cleanup at LANL, it does provide funds that will address the need to remove toxic waste from the lab’s property,” Luján said in a statement.

Heinrich, who won the Democratic primary in the U.S. Senate race, said, “It’s imperative both for New Mexico’s economy and for our national security that we do all we can to provide the necessary financial support for our labs,” Heinrich said.  “When our labs thrive, New Mexico thrives.” 

A spokesperson for Heather Wilson, who is running against Heinrich in the Senate race, blasted the congressman’s vote.

“While working families in New Mexico are struggling from Washington’s policies, Congressman Heinrich is in Washington killing jobs,” Wilson for Senate spokesman Christopher Sanchez said. “New Mexicans are tired of Washington politicians who say one thing and do just the opposite. Congressman Heinrich may think that he has New Mexicans fooled that he’s ‘fighting to keep jobs,’ but they’re onto him. New Mexico needs to elect a fighter to the United States Senate — someone who will stand up for jobs at our bases and laboratories.”

Political bickering aside, this is all far from a done deal.

There are three other bills out there that affect lab cleanup and the CMRR.

The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill has $239.14 million in cleanup and nothing for CMRR.

The House Armed Services has $239.14 million in cleanup and $100 million for CMRR and the Senate Armed Services has $239.14 million in cleanup and $150 million for CMRR.

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