Several observers expect Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to work to ensure that the Department of Energy has sufficient funding for the safe operations of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state. Murray leads the Senate Budget Committee and is a senior member of the Senate's Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. "Senator Murray has an important role in leadership, and she's got a key facility in her state and she sits on the key subcommittee. You add all these pieces together and she has a major role to play," said Dan Reicher, who worked on Hanford issues in the Clinton administration's Energy Department.

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