Last Wednesday, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell joined six other senators and 17 representatives from four Northwest states in sending a letter to the Office of Management and Budget. The delegations urged reversal of an earlier decision to sell the National Archives property on Seattle’s Sand Point Way Northeast.
It was a rare display of bipartisan cooperation uniting all but one of the region’s congressional representatives. If successful, a reversal would prevent a sale of the building and land. Most importantly it would keep the region’s historical records from being shipped a thousand miles away either to Riverside, Ca., or St. Louis, Mo.
Only Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-WA, failed to sign the letter. Newhouse’s office issued a statement faulting the National Archives for failing to make the vast collection available online. His objection overlooked the magnitude of such a task, involving nearly a million boxes of military, land, court, tax, and census records.
In February, U. S. District Judge John Coughenour issued a temporary injunction to block the pending National Archive sale until lawsuits brought by the Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, plus 29 tribal and various other groups, can be heard.