Budget, Spending, and the National Debt

Senator Murkowski believes one of the most essential functions of Congress is to pass a balanced budget that sets a responsible spending plan for federal government services.  For too long, the U.S. government has been spending more than it takes in and borrowing large sums of money to make up the difference.  To set the nation on a more stable financial path, it is critical for Congress to set sustainable funding levels for the federal government, reduce overall spending levels, and enact comprehensive tax reform and mandatory spending changes. 

Senator Murkowski also believes that part of the President’s responsibility to lead includes offering credible and responsible ideas to put our Nation back on a sustainable path.  Instead of offering solutions to address the problems that lead to sequestration, the President has frequently failed to present timely budgets, instead proposing budgets that exceed current spending limits and raise taxes.  As America continues to climb out of the 2008 Recession, more spending and more taxes are not responsible solutions to the nation’s fiscal problems. 

In order to strengthen the economy and put the country back on track, Senator Murkowski believes smart spending reductions are needed to target the nation’s growing, unsustainable debt while avoiding future sequestration scenarios. 


In her capacity as a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, Senator Murkowski works hard to ensure Alaska’s interests are not forgotten at the federal level. 

The appropriations process presents an important opportunity to balance federal priorities, including critical investment in infrastructure necessary for a healthy economy, against wasteful spending and unnecessary so-called “pork.”  In 2011, Senator Murkowski joined her Senate colleagues to ban earmarks.  While she believes strongly that earmarks created opportunities for waste, fraud, and abuse and that such abuses must not be tolerated, it is still important to understand the specific needs of our Great State do not automatically constitute wasteful spending.

Alaska has unique needs that set it apart from other states and it can be challenging to ensure Alaska receives its fair share of federal funds, especially in light of the fact that a majority of our lands are federally owned, and as a relatively new state, Alaska still has not seen the federal investment in infrastructure that occurred in the Lower 48 decades ago.  Senator Murkowski works hard to educate her colleagues on the unique challenges of Alaska and the federal government’s responsibility to address those needs as it has in other states.

While the earmark ban remains in effect, it is important for Senator Murkowski to hear from you.  If you have a program or project that would benefit from federal funding, please share your ideas with Senator Murkowski here.

National Debt and Deficit:

Senator Murkowski believes that the national debt and deficit is one of the most important issues facing our country.  Since the 2008 Recession, the ratio of national debt as a share of our national economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), has reached astronomical limits – as much as 78 percent of our GDP.  At current rates, the national debt amounts to more than $56,000 per citizen.  This is unsustainable and threatens the stability of the United States as the world’s strongest economic power.  In order to set sustainable funding levels, Congress must reduce overall spending levels, balance the budget, achieve comprehensive tax reform, and enact mandatory spending changes.  These changes are imperative to ensure a strong economy and a strong U.S. dollar to support higher wage jobs for hard-working Americans and a stronger middle class.