Articles & Op-eds

02.08.12

Alaska Public Radio Network: Alaska Delegation Introduces Legislation To Prevent Moving Eielson F-16s

Alaska's U.S. Senators have introduced legislation to prevent the Air Force transfer of aircraft from Eielson in North Pole to joint base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski's bill blocks funding for the movement of a 21 jet F-16 fighter squadron. Senator Begich, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, says the measure is aimed at what he calls an unjustified move by the Air Force prior to the start of an upcoming Base Realignment and Closure Commissi… Continue Reading


02.06.12

Alaska Dispatch: Senate passes 4-year, $63 billion FAA extension

It may not seem like it, but for a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, three years is a lifetime. The Senate on Monday voted 75-20 to approve a bill granting FAA $63 billion through 2015 and ending years of piecemeal, short-term extensions that sometimes secured funding for just a few months. As The Hill points out, short-term authorizations have been the name of the game for the FAA since 2007, and the long-term extension comes at a time few would have expected it. In August, a d… Continue Reading


01.30.12

Op-Ed: How to tackle cybersecurity

The Senate is about to consider cybersecurity legislation. Ensuring the integrity and safety of our nation's critical infrastructure is a bipartisan issue that Congress and President Barack Obama must work together to tackle. There is a right way and a wrong way to address cybersecurity. The right way is for the government and private sector to work together to solve problems, help the free flow of information between network managers and encourage investment and innovation in cybersecurity. Th… Continue Reading


01.28.12

Congressional Quarterly: Diplomacy Greases Wheels For Alaska Oil Production

Last February, Lisa Murkowski made the short trip from Capitol Hill to the White House for an appointment with President Obama. Fresh off a hard-fought re-election victory, the Alaska Republican had requested the meeting to highlight a conundrum facing her state: Although Alaska's North Slope boasts some of the largest oil and gas reserves on Earth, production has been declining for years. For an hour - and using maps she had brought along as visual aids - Murkowski outlined the obstacles that… Continue Reading


01.23.12

Op-Ed: Changing the conversation: Temper the vilification in Congress

Our country is facing serious challenges that continue to be left unresolved. Stalemates on issues from energy independence to wholesale tax reform to getting our economy on a sound footing threaten to undercut our nation's strength, yet Congress has been unable to reach a consensus on legislation to move us forward.One reason for the gridlock is members of opposing parties work in completely separate orbits. Lawmakers rarely interact on a bipartisan basis, and instead are locked in competition.… Continue Reading


01.18.12

Fairbanks Daily News - Miner: Alaska Sens. Murkowski, Begich opposed to online piracy bill; Rep. Don Young undecided

FAIRBANKS - As waves of constituents voice their opposition to a pair of bills aimed at halting online piracy, Alaska's senators announced Wednesday they plan to vote against the legislation. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, both released statements saying they oppose the Senate's Protect Internet Protocol Act, saying the effort raises too many concerns about privacy and civil liberties. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, hasn't taken a position on the House version … Continue Reading


01.12.12

Associated Press: End partisan seating at State of Union, Murkowski says

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski is urging a permanent end to the partisan seating arrangement at the State of the Union address. The Alaska Republican is joining Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in asking congressional leaders to institute bipartisan seating. The two led the push for bipartisan seating in 2011, after the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Murkowski was to sit with Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski but missed the address when her son had appendici… Continue Reading


12.22.11

Associated Press: Murkowski welcomes House move on payroll tax cut

JUNEAU, Alaska - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she's pleased that the House has reached agreement with the Senate on a payroll tax cut. The Alaska Republican says House passage of the bill would provide some "breathing room" for Congress to find a full-year solution. She has called the Senate's plan a reasonable compromise and said it's important that Congress find a way to break the impasse over the measure. The House earlier this week rejected the Senate's two-month extension of the tax cu… Continue Reading


12.18.11

Op-Ed: Military Detainee Provision in Defense Authorization Bill

I have heard from many Alaskans about my vote for the Defense Authorization bill early this month. I want to take a few moments with you to discuss this vote and its meaning.The Senate rarely comes together on a bipartisan vote of 93-7 on an issue of great controversy. Yet that occurred Dec. 1 on the fiscal 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. It reflected a deep-seated concern that al-Qaida remains a potent threat to the sense of security Americans take for granted. The question was whether… Continue Reading


12.16.11

Anchorage Daily News: Delegation's measure would bar NPS from stopping boaters

FAIRBANKS -- Language inserted into a federal spending bill would bar the National Park Service from stopping boaters in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. The provision was added by members of Alaska's congressional delegation after park rangers last year arrested a man who wouldn't let them on his boat for what they called a routine safety inspection, the Fairbanks Daily News Miner reported Friday. Jim Wilde was chased by two rangers after he cursed them out and continued upriver.… Continue Reading


11.30.11

Juneau Empire: State still looking into NCLB waivers

The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development is still looking at all the factors for applying for a newly offered waiver to the No Child Left Behind Act rules. President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the waiver program in September, and earlier this month state education commissioner Mike Hanley told The Associated Press it would be "wrong" of the state to not consider them. Eric Fry, department information officer, said they have finished evalua… Continue Reading


11.26.11

Ketchikan Daily News Editorial: The right place

by Originally Published on November 26, 2011

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has encouraged Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to have the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship commissioned in Anchorage, for which it was named. The idea is appealing to Alaskans, particularly those living in Anchorage. Here's a ship with an Alaska connection. Alaska has a long relationship with the armed forces. But the Navy hasn't had a year-round presence in the state since the naval facilities in Adak closed, although we are happy to welcome those member… Continue Reading


11.21.11

Alaska Dispatch: Alaska's senators hold jabs over 'super committee' meltdown

The so called "super committee," the bipartisan group of 12 members of the U.S. Congress (11 men and one woman) that was suppose to come up with some super ideas about ways to cutting the nation's ballooning budget, threw their hands up Monday and called it quits. The meme has been predictable: the Republicans refused to allow increases in tax rates, Democrats refused to allow big cuts in entitlement programs, and Obama is to blame for it all. That last is the view of GOP presidential contend… Continue Reading


11.19.11

SitNews: Alaska Priorities Secured in Funding Bill

(SitNews) - Numerous Alaska priorities including funding for aviation, weather satellites, fisheries enhancement and rural development are contained in an appropriations bill supported by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) & U. S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) which passed the Senate yesterday. The appropriations bill, which funds numerous federal departments, is now on its way to President Obama's desk. "Alaska has unique needs, from accurate weather forecasting to safe aviation for our rural comm… Continue Reading


11.16.11

Alaska Native News: Senator Wants “First-Hand Account” of Western Alaskan Conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski yesterday announced that a member of her staff will be visiting the communities of Nome, Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Kotzebue and Kivalina to assess the damage of the recent winter storm on much of western Alaska last week. "Though I was receiving continuous updates from state and federal authorities when the storm was threatening so many of our vulnerable villages, now that the skies and seas have calmed I want a first-hand account of where western Alaska… Continue Reading


11.14.11

Op - Ed: Obama's Oil Abdication

Last week the Obama administration proposed a modest expansion of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in its first concessions on offshore production since last year's Deepwater Horizon spill. The five-year plan would, however, keep Atlantic and Pacific sites off-limits in order to avoid a controversial decision before the 2012 election. As we continue our endless debate on whether we should have more Outer Continental Shelf development and where, all our neighbors… Continue Reading


11.10.11

Associated Press: Murkowski criticizes Keystone pipeline delay

Alaska's senior senator is criticizing the Obama administration's plan to delay a decision on a massive oil pipeline. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the decision sends a message to the world that - quote - "the United States lacks a clear energy policy and is willing to turn its back on its neighbor." The administration announced Thursday that it's delaying a decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to allow time to study possible new routes that avoid environmentally sensitive parts of Nebra… Continue Reading


11.09.11

Op - Ed: Town hall meetings show Alaskans get it

Last week, I traveled our state and engaged with Alaskans in one of the most important conversations facing our nation: the state of our economy. I'd like to thank everyone who attended one of our town hall meetings. My biggest takeaway from last week? Alaskans get it. They see what's happening and know federal spending is on an unsustainable trajectory, as the nation continues to dig itself deeper into a debt approaching 15 trillion dollars. That's 1,500 billion dollars -- tough to visualize b… Continue Reading


11.04.11

Op - Ed: The road ahead: Reflections on Native suicide summits

I took the opportunity of AFN this year to convene a field hearing through the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, with the intent of taking our dialogue on Native youth suicide to a next phase, one of informed national involvement. We in Alaska have been living with the harrowing reality for years, but I wanted to bring a Senate spotlight to our soil to fully bring about movement to fight this epidemic. And the focus lasted beyond that single event. Following the hearing, First Alaskans Institu… Continue Reading


10.01.11

Op - Ed: Bypass mail benefits more of Alaska than just the Bush

As Washington lawmakers begin the process of helping the United States Postal Service regain a firm financial footing, some are suggesting changes to Alaska's bypass mail system. A House of Representatives subcommittee recently adopted an amendment that singles out Alaska and would require the state to pay for bypass mail service -- an expense that ran to $70 million dollars last year. Similar legislation has since been introduced in the Senate. I believe this is a flawed approach, not only bec… Continue Reading

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