Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski slams Democrats for excessive spending

FAIRBANKS — Sen. Lisa Murkowski criticized Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee last week for not doing more to cut federal spending.

Democrats on the appropriations committee, which Murkowski sits on, passed a $14 billion budget cut, less than the $20 billion cut proposed by Republicans. That $20 billion cut would have frozen discretionary spending at last year’s levels, the senator said.

“Next year’s deficit is going to be in the range of $1.4 trillion. It took all the presidents combined before President Obama 232 years to build up $5.8 trillion in debt,” Murkowski said in a statement. “President Obama will double that number in only five years and triple it in 10 years. Congress must get serious about reining in out-of-control spending, and a good place to start is with next year’s federal budget.”

Murkowski, who is up for re-election this year, has been especially critical of government spending and debt in recent weeks.

The committee also approved appropriations bills for homeland security, veterans affairs and military construction and agricultural funding. All Republicans voted against the bills.

“These are extraordinary measures, but the Republican members of the Appropriations Committee want to make it clear that we are willing to make tough choices,” Murkowski said.

Begich announces military projects

Sen. Mark Begich announced last week $357 million in new military construction headed to Alaska next year.

The construction was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which counts Begich as a member. The bill still has to be approved by the appropriations committee and the full Senate.

The committee approved more than $120 million for an Aviation Task Force Complex at Fort Wainwright, as well as $21 million for family housing on post and a $3.35 million urban assault course.

For Eielson Air Force Base, the bill calls for

$28 million in repairs to the central heat plant and boiler and $6.5 million to improve and expand the Air National Guard’s communications facility.

The bill also allocates $26 million for a Fort Greely Fire Station.

Begich noted the $141 billion legislation approved by the committee is $751 million less than last fiscal year.

“I am pleased this legislation funds so many vital Alaska projects while working toward a stronger sense of fiscal discipline,” the senator said in a statement. “These investments will help contribute to Alaska’s economy while giving our brave service members the tools and infrastructure necessary to accomplish their missions.”

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