Articles & Op-eds

01.31.10

Ketchikan Daily News: Senator talks health care

Health care dominated a discussion Friday between Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and members of the Ketchikan Young Professionals Network. The lunchtime conversation started with a brief statement from Murkowski, who then asked what issues concerned the approximately 20 audience members. The first question was about ensuring quality health care for all the veterans coming back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Murkowski agreed that the number of veterans is growing, and at 18 percent, Ala… Continue Reading


01.31.10

Ketchikan Daily News: Intertie completion celebrated

Ketchikan's Ted Ferry Civic Center was a who's who in Alaska politics Friday night, with at least 200 people gathered to celebrate the completion of the Swan-Tyee hydroelectric intertie. Among those attending the party were Sen. Lisa Murkowski, representatives from the offices of Sen. Mark Begich and Rep. Don Young, legislators from throughout the state, former lawmakers, officials from Ketchikan, Saxman, Petersburg, Wrangell and Metlakatla; and representatives from the Alaska Energy Authority,… Continue Reading


01.28.10

KSRM Radio: Senators React to State of the Union Address

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski felt President Barack Obama connected on a few of the issues important to everyone with his State of the Union speech on Wednesday night. Some of those issues involved jobs, the strength of the economy and spending. However, she was concerned that the President still supports the current health care reform bill. She had hoped that the President would ask Congress to go back to the drawing board with the health care reform issue. Senator Murkowski was pleased that Pre… Continue Reading


01.27.10

KTUU: Congressional delegates, local parties, react to State of the Union

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In his first State of the Union Address, President Obama promised more focus on jobs. But he pointed a finger at Republicans and admitted he's inspired doubt among those who trusted him to change Washington. After the address, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she was surprised that Obama asked senators to take another look at his healthcare proposal. "To ask us to go back to a proposal that is a $2.5 trillion proposal, increases premiums, increases taxes, cuts to Medicare of about… Continue Reading


01.27.10

Anchorage Daily News: State's delegates share thoughts

Here's how Alaska congressional delegation reacted to the State of the Union address: • Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski: "I think it was important that the president in his words tonight really tried to convey an understanding and appreciation as to where this country is, where families are, what their anxieties, their angst and their concerns (are). For months now, the Democratic conference and the president, the administration, have been so focused on health care, health care, health car… Continue Reading


01.20.10

Homer Tribune: Murkowski explains healthcare views

Efforts to shape the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the name of the new healthcare plan under debate in Congress, continue with hundreds of amendments. Eighty six of those were written by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski's amendments were to address the following: a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee healthcare bill to ensure that Alaska Natives would be able to participate in the healthcare grant programs included in the HELP bill; that Medicare patients c… Continue Reading


01.18.10

Anchorage Daily News: Stricken oil tanker approved to sail after making repairs

by By Elizabeth Bluemink. Originally published by the Anchorage Daily News on January 18, 2010

The Exxon tanker that briefly lost power in state waters Sunday while carrying more than 25 million gallons of crude oil has quickly become a poster child for pending federal legislation to beef up protection for Prince William Sound oil shipments. Two tugs escorting the 832-foot SeaRiver Kodiak through the Sound towed it to safety on Sunday morning. The tanker now is en route to San Francisco. The towing was precautionary, said Joel Kennedy, maritime operations project manager for the Prince … Continue Reading


01.17.10

KTUU: Most Alaskans against health care reform, poll says

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- With Democrats' ability to pass health care reform on the line in a U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts, a recent poll here in Alaska shows that more than half of Alaskans want their congressional delegation to vote against the legislation. According to a poll completed by Dittman Research the last week of December, 64 percent of Alaskans expect their health costs to increase, and 60 percent say they expect the quality of their care to decline if the health care p… Continue Reading


01.16.10

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Begich, Murkowski question contractor rule on health care

Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski have both sent letters to U.S. Senate leaders asking that a provision that puts a mandate on small construction companies that would not apply to other small firms be changed in the health care bill. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees would not face the mandates that larger companies would under the health bill. But an amendment was inserted last month to say that construction businesses would only be exempt if they have five or fewer employees.The New … Continue Reading


01.16.10

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski is optimistic after Afghan tour

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski returned from a trip to Afghanistan last week with an unexpected sense of optimism about the future of the troubled country. Murkowski said she was encouraged to see more responsibility being taken by the Afghan army and police in securing the country. A surge in recruitment efforts makes her think the Afghan people believe their government is destined to succeed. The positive reports come from a battlefield that has proved stubborn for the U.S. military in the … Continue Reading


01.13.10

Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski goes to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski joined Republican lawmakers in meetings with leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan over the weekend, according to Murkowski's office. The delegation, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Razi Gilani on Friday and traveled to Kabul to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday, according to Murkowski. The talks focused on political, economic and military issues, Murkowski's office said. On S… Continue Reading


01.13.10

Anchorage Daily News: After trip, Murkowski sees some progress in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- Over the weekend, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, walked through a bazaar in Garmsir, a town in Afghanistan's unstable Helmand province. That she was able to do it was remarkable, said Murkowski, who returned this week from a whirlwind, 15,000-mile journey with three other Republican senators through 15 times zones and one war zone. The senators walked through the village with Marines, but the protection for the village was the local police force, Murkowski said. "That was who was… Continue Reading


01.12.10

Alaska Public Radio Network: Murkowski: More Troops in Afghanistan Paying Off

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says she believes the troop surge in Afghanistan will be effective, although it will likely cost more American casualties. Alaska's senior Senator returned from a brief visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday She and three other Republican members of Congress went on the five-day trip at the invitation of the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Murkowski says they saw evidence that President Obama's recent decision to boost troops in Afghanista… Continue Reading


01.10.10

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaskans question what effect health care reform would have on state

FAIRBANKS - The two chambers of Congress have yet to ink final plans for remaking the country's health care system, but state leaders have long been wondering how the final product will treat Alaska. In particular, questions have sprouted about a proposed tax on high-priced, generous insurance policies. The tax would apply to the price of insurance premiums, which are high in Alaska, and is one leg of the plan to finance other sections of reform. Sen. Mark Begich, who generally supported the S… Continue Reading


12.26.09

Op-Ed: Constituents right to be upset about badly flawed bill

Usually by this time of year, members of Congress stop hearing from their constituents because they've got other things on their minds -- Christmas cards and presents and family gatherings to celebrate the holidays. But not this year. This past week, my offices in Alaska and Washington were bombarded with hundreds of calls, faxes and e-mails from constituents. The overwhelming majority were upset, even outraged, that the Senate was about to pass a partisan $2.5 trillion health care bill that in… Continue Reading


12.19.09

The Hill: Copenhagen pact met with questions

The limited global warming deal that President Obama brokered at the Copenhagen climate summit Friday has raised eyebrows and expectations in the Senate, showing that it's unclear if it will speed along slow-moving Democratic climate legislation in the upper chamber. Obama and top officials from a group of countries including China and India produced a scaled-back, nonbinding climate accord late Friday under which nations will commit to implementing their national pledges to control emissions. … Continue Reading


12.19.09

KTUU: Alaska's senators respond to final unveiling of health care bill

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- With Democrats reportedly holding the 60 votes necessary to pass it, Alaska's senators chimed in on Saturday's final unveiling of the U.S. Senate health care package. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is opposed to the bill and says it will not benefit Alaska, while Sen. Mark Begich believes the package will cut costs for Alaskans and strengthen Medicare. The Christmas deadline is becoming another topic of debate, as some disagree with the rush. "These are very complicated and obviousl… Continue Reading


12.18.09

Investors Business Daily: GOP Seeking To ‘Veto’ EPA Ruling

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told reporters Thursday that Republicans would try to pass a resolution blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The senator said she believed they had enough support to get the resolution out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. It would be unlikely to get far in the full Senate though. "For all intents and purposes, this is a veto of the (EPA) decision," Murkowski said. She made her comments in a bri… Continue Reading


12.16.09

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Murkowski criticizes EPA greenhouse gas finding

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski plans to file a disapproval resolution to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions using the Clean Air Act. Murkowski made the announcement Monday after the EPA made an "endangerment finding" earlier this month that greenhouse gases threaten humans. "I remain committed to reducing emissions through a policy that will protect our environment and strengthen our economy, but EPA's backdoor climate regulations achieve neither… Continue Reading


12.16.09

Science Insider: An Interview with Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Having warmed an average of 2°C since 1948, oil-rich Alaska best embodies the dual challenges of coping with climate change while weaning the United States off fossil fuels. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, has been more accepting of the concept of humanmade climate change than other politicians in Alaska, notably former governor Sarah Palin. Having shown a willingness to engage on the issue of emissions controls as a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Murkowski is se… Continue Reading

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