Cantwell Applauds Biden Administration Withdrawal of Approval for Sale of Seattle Archives Facility

In March, Cantwell led a letter calling on OMB to reverse the sale

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement after President Biden’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced it has withdrawn approval for the sale of the Seattle National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility:

“OMB, under the Biden administration, has come to its senses. It believes denying a population access to its historic records is wrong. I’m glad they are going to continue to allow Tribal communities to access this important information.”

Since the Trump administration announced it had approved the sale of the facility in January 2020, Senator Cantwell has been a leader in the fight to reverse the decision. In March, she led 25 members of the Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Idaho congressional delegations in sending a letter to the Biden OMB asking them to stop the sale of the facility. Also in March, she joined in the introduction of legislation to block the sale. Following the announcement of the intended sale of the facility, Senator Cantwell led a January 2020 bipartisan, bicameral letter from Pacific Northwest senators and representatives to OMB expressing concern and disapproval of the plans to move these records out of the region. Members representing the region, with the leadership of Pacific Northwest members of the Appropriations Committee, also came together to secure language in the 2020 appropriations bills that required the agencies charged with the sale of the facility and movement of the records to find ways to keep the records in the Pacific Northwest.