Chattanooga federal courthouse funded as part of massive federal spending deal

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Rep. Chuck Fleischmann
Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

NASHVILLE - Additional funds for a long-sought U.S. courthouse replacement in Chattanooga are part of the mammoth spending bill approved by Congress on Monday that pairs $900 billion in coronavirus-related relief assistance with $1.4 trillion in spending to fund the federal government.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tennessee, said he is "proud to have secured critical funding for East Tennessee in my role on the House Appropriations Committee I will never cease fighting for East Tennessee's priorities."

In November, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, a three-term senator who leaves office next month, announced the Senate Finance Committee had included $189.1 million to construct the new federal courthouse to replace the 87-year-old Joel W. Solomon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Chattanooga. Alexander said at the time the new courthouse was "badly needed" for the "largest and busiest judicial district in Tennessee."

The spending bill also includes full funding - $750 million - for construction of the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge as well as $610 million for additional Oak Ridge cleanup.

Alexander and Fleischmann, whose district includes Oak Ridge, said the bill also provides critical funding for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to continue its pioneering work in supercomputing and additive manufacturing.

The senator said it allows the U.S. to take full advantage of what he called its "secret weapon, our extraordinary capacity for basic research at our 17 national laboratories and will help build and develop the next generation of supercomputers."

Provisions include $1.78 billion for high-performance computing with an estimated $225 million for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility.

Contact Andy Sher at or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter @AndySher1.