Articles & Op-eds


Federal News Network: Agencies, AFGE begin preparations for another government shutdown

by Nicole Ogrysko

With less than a week now until the latest funding deadline expires this Friday, agencies are officially preparing for another government shutdown. Guidance from the Office of Management and Budget instructs senior agency officials to begin preparations one week before the possibility of a lapse in appropriations. The American Federation of Government Employees is also preparing for the possibility. "We informed our members that a shutdown is possible," AFGE National President J. David Cox tol… Continue Reading


GovExec: GOP Senator Endorses 2.6 Percent Pay Raise for Feds, Improving Proposal's Prospects

by Erich Wagner

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska became the first Republican in the Senate to sign onto a plan to give federal civilian employees a 2.6 percent pay increase this year and provide parity between military and civilian compensation. Murkowski announced Monday that she would cosponsor the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act (S. 262), which would override President Trump's executive order mandating a pay freeze for civilian federal employees in 2019. The 2.6 percent pay raise figure would… Continue Reading


City Journal: The Nuclear Option

by James B. Meigs

At the heart of the sprawling Indian Point Energy Center, 30 miles up the Hudson River from Manhattan, stands a modest, oblate structure easy to overlook at first glance. The plant's massive, torpedo-shaped containment domes, which shelter Indian Point's two active nuclear reactors, dominate the skyline. But the smallish, squat dome in the middle of the complex, its gray concrete streaked with age, is where it all started. This incongruous building contains Indian Point's long-dormant Unit 1, am… Continue Reading


Herald Net: Legislation targets missing and murdered indigenous women

by Melissa Hellmann

When Puyallap tribal member Carolyn DeFord's mother, Leona LeClair Kinsey, went missing in 1999, DeFord was at a loss for how to find her. A lack of guidelines or resources to help native communities document information on missing and murdered individuals made it difficult for her to track down clues on her mother's disappearance. "A lot of rumors have flown around and until we can either find her or find evidence linking somebody to her, it's just speculation," DeFord told Seattle Weekly in a … Continue Reading


Bustle: The Global HER Act Wants To Repeal Trump's Global Gag Rule Once & For All

by Morgan Brinlee

For decades, Democratic and Republican presidents have played tug of war with legislation, known as the Mexico City Policy of the Global Gag Rule, that prohibits U.S. funds from being allocated to foreign non-governmental organizations that provide abortion services, counseling, or information. While Democratic presidents would rescinded the policy, every Republican president elected since 1985 has re-instated it, including Donald Trump, who rolled out an expanded version of the rule in 2017. No… Continue Reading


KFYR: Turtle Mountain chairman sends letter of support for Savanna's Act

by Joe Skurzewski

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Chairman Jamie Azure has penned a letter of support to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on behalf of the tribe for Savanna's Act. The legislation is named after the late Savanna Greywind, who was killed for her unborn child in 2017. It would improve legal resources for investigations into violence against Native American women. Former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp introduced the bill, but it stalled in the House. Murkowski, along with Sen. Catherine Cortez Mast… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska congressional delegation praises Trump speech

by Erin McGroarty

Alaska's three members of Congress released statements in support of President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski noted the overall message of the speech, urging bipartisan work to address some of the issues Trump identified as important, was a much-needed theme based on the current political climate. "The president's address to the nation was designed to encourage, to be uplifting. He began with a message to us in the Congress to come tog… Continue Reading


Modern Healthcare: Senators seek industry data on surprise medical bills

by Susannah Luthi

As Congress ramps up its efforts to address high surprise medical bills, a bipartisan group of senators want hard data from insurers and hospitals on out-of-network billing practices. In a letter sent Tuesday to a broad swath of insurers, employers and providers who have been part of legislative discussions, six senators asked insurers how their out-of-network payments compare to Medicare rates and provider charges. The senators also probed whether fixing one area could risk raising costs overa… Continue Reading


Undercurrent News: Genetically engineered salmon labeling bill introduced yet again in US

US senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, two Alaska Republicans, have once again introduced legislation that would require any genetically engineered salmon products sold in the US to be clearly labeled as such. S. 282, the Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act, also has support from Democratic senators Maria Cantwell, from the state of Washington, and Jeff Merkley, from Oregon. Murkowski has tried multiple times to advance similar legislation without luck. A 2017 version of the bill … Continue Reading


Must Read Alaska: Murkowski bills focus on Native Alaskans, women

by Suzanne Downing

CHAMPIONS NATIVE, WOMENS' CAUSES IN SLEW OF RECENT LEGISLATION Sen. Lisa Murkowski has shifted her focus in recent weeks. She has paid more attention to issues affecting Native Alaskans, particularly women and children, with several bills specific to their concerns of these Alaskans. Since Jan. 1, nearly half of Murkowski's sponsored or cosponsored legislation has dealt with this part of the Alaska population. Here's a look at the legislation she has her name on this year that pertain to Alas… Continue Reading


KTVA: Alaska delegation weighs in on State of the Union

by Megan Mazurek

President Trump delivered his second State of the Union speech on Tuesday, imploring lawmakers to "break decades of political stalemate" and "heal old wounds" just weeks after the longest government shutdown in history, drawing general praise from Alaska lawmakers. With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence seated behind him on the dais of the House chamber, Mr. Trump spoke for nearly an hour and a half, with frequent interruptions of applause from Republican members who brok… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: UAF Native Studies officials praise Murkowski language bill

by Erin McGroarty

Native studies officials at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are praising an effort to reauthorize legislation that funds Native language immersion programs across the country. Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and several other senators reintroduced the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act this week. The act works to maintain two national programs that fund revitalization, expand them to smaller-size tribal language programs as well as lengthen the grant… Continue Reading


Politico: ‘The most independent’: Murkowski carves own path in Trump era

by Burgess Everett

Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins chatted quietly on the Senate floor before one of the biggest votes of their lives. Too quietly, it turns out. As the pair prepared to vote on Brett Kavanaugh's contentious nomination, Murkowski delivered the news that she would vote against the Supreme Court confirmation. But her Maine colleague didn't quite hear her. "I told her that I was not going to be there with her. And she actually misunderstood me. She thought I said 'yes.' And she said: 'Well, good,'"… Continue Reading


KTVA: Murkowski reintroduces bill expanding funding to tribal language programs

by Elizabeth Roman

Alaska's senior U.S. senator recently joined some of her colleagues to reintroduce a bill that expands funding to smaller-size tribal language programs. In a Monday news release, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) praised the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act. The bill will maintain two programs that currently fund language revitalization, expand them to smaller-size tribal language programs and lengthen grant periods. Sen. Murkowski released this statement on the… Continue Reading


Seafood Source: Senators file bill to mandate labeling requirements on genetically enhanced salmon

by Steve Bittenbender

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators from the Pacific northwest filed a bill last week that would require any salmon produced through genetic engineering to be labeled clearly as such on its packaging. The bill, filed last week, comes a month after the Department of Agriculture published its final rule requiring producers, importers and other entities to reveal information about bioengineered products and ingredients. However, critics panned the measure saying companies could use digital QR code… Continue Reading


E&E News: Murkowski plots making sure lands package becomes law

by Kellie Lunney and Geof Koss

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski wants to make sure the public lands package the upper chamber is poised to take up this week attracts "strong support" from her colleagues to boost its momentum as it heads to the House. That means not straying far from the agreement that bicameral negotiators finalized late last year before the package fell apart in the Senate just before Christmas over Republican objections. "We really want to be conscientious about sticking to th… Continue Reading


Arctic Sounder: Murkowski reintroduces Savanna's Act in Senate

by Shady Grove Oliver

After stalling in the House at the end of last year, Savanna's Act is back on the table. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) reintroduced the act this week with fellow Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada). "It is long past time that Congress took action to help curb the tragic epidemic of violence toward Native American women," said Cortez Masto in a release. "I'm proud to join Sen. Murkowski in reintroducing Savanna's Act, which gives local and tribal law enforcement the federal resources they ne… Continue Reading


Salmon Business: Alaska senator introduces GE Salmon labeling bill

by Owen Evans

"We have the right to know what we're eating," said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday reintroduced the Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act, to ensure that any salmon that is genetically engineered be clearly labelled. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). "There's a huge difference between genetically engineered salmon and the healthy, sustainably-caught, wild Alaskan sa… Continue Reading


KTUU: UPDATE: President approves Alaska disaster declaration for Nov. 30 earthquake

by Daniel Kirby

President Trump declared a federal disaster for the State of Alaska Thursday, allowing federal funds to begin flowing to the state for earthquake recovery efforts. According to a release from the White House, federal funding in the form of grants, low-interest loans, and other programs will now be available to people affected by the earthquake in the Municipality of Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. "Additional designations may be made at a later date i… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Collaborative effort for Arctic icebreaking gains traction

by Rachel D'Oro

A proposal to use private and foreign ships to help fill the demand for commercial icebreaking is gaining traction among Arctic stakeholders. Polar Institute Director Mike Sfraga said the concept would be similar to ride-hailing services like Uber, but instead it would be a commercial ship calling for support vessels to help cross Arctic waters, Alaska Public Media reported Wednesday. The "Uber for icebreakers" model would call for a collaborative effort among the northern countries to create … Continue Reading

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