Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski takes on EPA, federal spending in Fairbanks speech

FAIRBANKS — Sen. Lisa Murkowski railed against an “overreaching” administration and government agencies in a speech Friday during the weekly Interior Republican luncheon.

Murkowski warned the crowd of several dozen people about the $5.8 trillion public debt,.which she said will double in five years and triple in 10 years if government spending continues on its current course.

“There is nothing more out of check than what is happening with the debt, what is happening with the deficit,” she said.

Murkowski warned that such spending puts the federal government’s AAA bond rating at risk, and could even lead to civil unrest like recently seen in Greece.

While Murkowski offered few specifics about cutting spending, she did say she welcomed an internal review by the Pentagon, led by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to cut defense spending, which makes up nearly a quarter of the federal budget.

The senator also called for the repeal of health care reform that was signed into law by the president earlier this year, saying it was the wrong time to add a new entitlement program when older programs such as Medicaid need to be fixed.

Murkowski saved some of her sharpest criticism for the Environmental Protection Agency, which she butted heads with earlier this month when her disapproval resolution to keep the agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act went before the Senate.

Though the rarely used resolution procedure failed to pass the Senate 47-53 and President Obama promised to veto it if it reached his desk, Murkowski said that she considered it a “badge of honor” that the Obama administration spent so much effort defeating the effort.

While six Democrats joined with Republicans in voting for the resolution, Murkowski said a handful of other Democrats had shown support for it as well, but voted against the resolution when the EPA promised to delay enforcing regulations for several years.

“We made our point,” Murkowski said. “Forty-seven members of the Senate said they do not want to allow the agency to set climate change policy.”

# # #

Source: By Chris Freiberg. Published June 26, 2010