Articles & Op-eds


KNOM: Profile: Update from Senator Lisa Murkowski on COVID-19, State of the State Economy, and Rural Alaska

by Davis Hovey

THE END OF APRIL MARKED THE RELEASE of more federal funds for Alaskans and small businesses directly affected by COVID-19. Last week, Senator Lisa Murkowski spoke with KNOM Radio about stimulus money and other things related to the coronavirus pandemic. Hear the full conversation between KNOM's Davis Hovey and Senator Murkowski below: Murkowski: I'm Lisa Murkowski, United States Senator for the state of Alaska. KNOM: Let's start out with the COVID-19 updates. In terms of things happening with… Continue Reading


KTOO: Alaska’s top doctor says we can’t let the number of COVID-19 cases to grow unchecked

by Andrew Kitchenmann

Alaska's top doctor warned against the risk of allowing the number of COVID-19 cases to grow unchecked. Some Alaskans have argued that the state should allow enough people to contract the virus that it reaches what's known as "herd immunity," where enough people are immune that it stops spreading. State Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink pushed back against this argument during a news briefing on Wednesday. For one thing, no demographic is safe from the disease. Zink noted that more than a… Continue Reading


Must Read Alaska: PPP loans revised for Alaska’s seasonal businesses

A rule change released by the Treasury Department will allow Alaska's hundreds of seasonal businesses to choose a different 12-week expense period when applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan - a period that more accurately reflects their operating payroll. The Alaska congressional delegation has pressed the Trump administration for weeks and has had multiple conversations with President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asking the federal government to issue guidance … Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Senators: Loan program refilled, terms now more favorable for seasonal businesses

by Peter Segall

The federal program that subsidizes loans to small businesses has been funded once again, according to Alaska's senators who spoke to reporters Monday via teleconference. At a press conference, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Republicans, said seasonal businesses would receive loans under that program based on how many employees they have during their busiest time of year, rather than how many they currently have. That provision was problematic for a some tourism businesses, Sulliv… Continue Reading


KINY: Murkowski calls for loans for energy industry

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski joined several Senators in a letter to Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urging swift action to make loans available to domestic energy producers. Murkowski signed a letter to the two top officials today along with Alaska U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan. The letter emphasized the importance of swift action, "We face a real and present danger of seeing hundreds, if not thousands of oil producers shuttering, an event that will prof… Continue Reading


KYUK: Coronavirus Update: US Sen. Lisa Murkowski

by Anna Rose MacArthur and Johanna Eurich

Congress is working on an additional funding package to help deal with the pandemic's effects on the country. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says that the Senate has approved an additional $484 billion for COVID-19 response, including money for hospitals, small businesses, and testing. The bill is being fast tracked. "The House is scheduled to take that bill up tomorrow morning [April 23]. So I would anticipate the president would sign that into law perhaps as early as tomorrow, maybe on [April 24],"… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News Miner: Senate approves CARES Act ‘2.0’ to make up for losses in original bill

by Erin McGroarty

The U.S. Senate earlier this week unanimously passed a $484 billion COVID-19 relief bill, legislation members of Congress are calling "the CARES Act 2.0." The bill includes additional funding for many of the same areas addressed in the first version of the act and holds few new provisions, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski explained to reporters Wednesday. "We recognize that when we passed the first supplemental, when we passed the Families First bill and when we passed the CARES Act, we k… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: OPINION: Attacks on Native corporations over CARES Act are unfair

by Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young

During the last global pandemic, the 1918 Spanish flu, more people died per capita in Alaska than almost anywhere else in the world. Native elders still tell of entire villages getting wiped out. Our state has to use every tool available to respond to this pandemic because the barriers to providing care and preventing outbreaks are daunting. Alaska is larger than 177 nations. If it were a country, it would be in the top 20 by landmass. There are more than 200 remote, predominately Native, comm… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Senate approves CARES Act ‘2.0’ to make up for losses in original bill

by Erin McGroarty

The U.S. Senate earlier this week unanimously passed a $484 billion COVID-19 relief bill, legislation members of Congress are calling "the CARES Act 2.0." The bill includes additional funding for many of the same areas addressed in the first version of the act and holds few new provisions, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski explained to reporters Wednesday. "We recognize that when we passed the first supplemental, when we passed the Families First bill and when we passed the CARES Act, we k… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: New $484 billion coronavirus relief bill will bring more loan funds to Alaska

by Alex DeMarban

The $484 billion COVID-19 aid package awaiting passage in Congress will provide a much-needed boost to programs designed to help Alaska and U.S. businesses, the state's congressional delegation said Wednesday. The bill includes $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program and another $60 billion to shore up the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and grant program. The loan programs were funded in the massive $2.2 trillion COVID relief package passed last month, but ran out of money las… Continue Reading


KINY: Murkowski, Sullivan applaud COVID-19 funding package

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan are applauding unanimous Senate passage of a coronavirus relief package. The package totals $484 billion, which provides additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, COVID-19 testing, and added support for hospitals. The purpose of the majority of this funding is to provide a boost to programs that were previously authorized and funded from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act which was signed into law in March. The bi… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: A long, steady push brought the F-35s to Eielson

by Alistair Gardiner

Tuesday's touchdown of a pair of the nation's newest fighter jets at Eielson Air Force Base marks the end of a decades-long effort to have the aircraft stationed at the installation. With a total price tag of about $400 billion, the F-35 program is the costliest weapons program in U.S. military history. Getting the aircraft to Eielson has been a complicated and precarious process. The F-35 program began in the 1990s with plans for a basic airframe that, with some adjustments, would fulfill fig… Continue Reading


Daily Energy Insider: Sen. Murkowski urges FCC to give utilities, first responders priority on spectrum band

by Dave Kovaleski

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow emergency responders and utilities to continue to have priority usage of the 6 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band. Murkowski's plea comes after FCC officials published a draft rule April 1, allowing unlicensed devices to utilize the 6 GHz band. It is currently occupied by only electric and natural gas utilities, along with other licensed users like first responders. Murkowski, chair of the Senate Energy a… Continue Reading


KTOO: Alaska’s struggling timber industry can now hit pause on federal contracts

by Elizabeth Jenkins

In reaction to the pandemic's disruption of the global timber market, the U.S. Forest Service is allowing extensions on existing timber sale contracts with sawmills and timber operators. Typically, Forest Service contracts expire after three to five years. But this change gives businesses a way to request up to a two-year extension on certain contracts so they can navigate the difficult times. Alaska businesses are getting an extra year on top of that because of another setback: The ongoing tr… Continue Reading


KINY: Senator Murkowski trying to help the cruise industry

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski said she is working to help Alaska's seafood industry and its cruise ship industry during the pandemic. Murkowski said she would like to salvage at least part of the cruise ship season this year. "We have to work together as a community and an industry on this. It's important for seafood processors. We want to line people up to start working in some of our most remote communities. Those communities want to know that the processors have plans in place to protect t… Continue Reading


Huffington Post: Senators Demand Next COVID-19 Bailout Bill Prioritize Domestic Violence Survivors

by Alanna Vagianos

The next coronavirus aid bill needs to prioritize victims of domestic and sexual violence, who are particularly vulnerable as stay-at-home orders leave them isolated with their abusers, dozens of senators wrote in letters to leadership on Monday. In two letters that were shared with HuffPost ahead of their release, the bipartisan group of senators called for more resources and funding for victims of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and family violence as the coronavirus outbreak spread… Continue Reading


KTUU: Senator Lisa Murkowski and Mayor Ethan Berkowitz give an update on COVID-19

by Alexis Fernandez

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and Senator Lisa Murkowski held a community briefing Monday on COVID-19. To recap some of the highlights: The mayor said continuing our current efforts to flatten the curve are critical, and what we're doing is working, he says. He confirmed the statistics are not showing any specific patterns or clusters in any particular neighborhood in Anchorage. Berkowitz confirmed he will be asking for an extension of the current emergency order through November 15th - whi… Continue Reading


Peninsula Clarion: Senators reach out to Alaskans in audioconference meetings

by Michael Armstrong

In town hall audioconferences held the past two weeks on the COVID-19 pandemic, Alaska's U.S. senators have been listening to concerns and trying to help citizens get relief through the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan have held the dial-in audioconferences on April 2 and April 9 to give people an opportunity to understand how Congress has responded to the pandemic and how it can help them. The April 2 conference … Continue Reading


Roll Call: Lawmakers prod USDA to aid local food growers hit by pandemic

by Ellyn Ferguson

More than 30 senators from both parties called on the Agriculture Department to provide robust aid for small growers and meat producers who are the backbone of the farm-to-table movement. In a Thursday letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, 29 Democrats, independents Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said public health restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus have imposed extra expenses for … Continue Reading


Daily Energy Insider: Alaska senators sponsor bill to purchase oil for Strategic Petroleum Reserve

by Dave Kovaleski

Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) are sponsoring a bill to purchase $3 billion of U.S.-produced crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The bill aligns with the request made by President Donald Trump and Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette to fill the SPR to capacity. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX) and Michael Burgess (R-TX) are also sponsoring this bicameral bill, which will be introduced when Congress returns to session. "The oi… Continue Reading

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