Articles & Op-eds

08.11.09

Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks out against health care reform bill

by By Jason Moore. Originally aired by KTUU on August 11, 2009

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Traveling the state talking about health care reform can't be the most appealing way to spend a summer break. But that's how Alaska's senior senator Lisa Murkowski plans to spend her August recess, and it began Tuesday with a couple of events in Anchorage. Murkowski visited the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, one of the only places in town currently accepting new Medicare patients. "The support that is given here at this facility is continuous, it is supportive, a… Continue Reading


08.11.09

Fairbanks health care town hall is Thursday

by By Jeff Richardson. Originally published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on August 11, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Fairbanksans will get to weigh in on the hottest issue in politics on Thursday - the combustible debate about health care reform. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has scheduled a "town hall"-style meeting on health care from 4-6 p.m. Thursday at Pioneer Park Theatre. Murkowski spokesman Robert Sumner said the discussion should be broad and inclusive. Sumner said Murkowski plans to talk for a few minutes, followed by about two hours of questions and comments from the audience. Her office said … Continue Reading


08.11.09

Murkowski: Don't tell lies about the health-care reform bill

by By Lisa Demer. Originally published in the Anchorage Daily News on August 11, 2009

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday told an Anchorage crowd that critics of health care reform, the summer's hottest political topic, aren't helping the debate by throwing out highly charged assertions not based in fact. "It does us no good to incite fear in people by saying that there's these end-of-life provisions, these death panels," Murkowski, a Republican, said. "Quite honestly, I'm so offended at that terminology because it absolutely isn't (in the bill). There is no reason to gin up fe… Continue Reading


08.07.09

EDITORIAL: No child left

by Originally published by the Anchorage Daily News on August 07, 2009

As the state and local school districts once again report results of annual testing required by the federal government, it's clear that any real progress -- or failings -- in our schools are obscured by flaws in the federal No Child Left Behind law. What's wrong with it? So many things that No Child Left Behind should be overhauled or scrapped. To be judged as having made "adequate yearly progress" under the federal law, a school must meet targets in more than 30 categories. Students in each… Continue Reading


08.03.09

Sen. Murkowski will talk health in Fairbanks

by Originally published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on August 03, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski is planning three town hall-style meetings in Alaska this month to discuss health care issues, starting with an Aug. 13 discussion in Fairbanks. Murkowski held a "teletownhall" on Thursday, connecting with 8,000 Alaskans who were dialed by an automated system, said spokesman Michael Brumas. The hour-long discussion was dominated by health-care issues. Brumas said the theme has been so consistent that Murkowski wants to host the town-hall meetings to d… Continue Reading


08.02.09

No rest for Lawmakers During Recess

Sen. Murkowski was interiewed for National Public Radio's (NPR) program 'All Things Considered' on the upcoming August Congressional recess. You may listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


08.02.09

McCaskill retreats attack on tribal contracting

by Originally published in Indian Country Today on August 02, 2009

WASHINGTON - Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has been forced to temporarily shelve plans to restrict government contracting with tribes and Alaska Native Corporations. McCaskill, a strong ally of President Barack Obama, held a Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight hearing July 16, during which she expressed beliefs that ANCs are receiving unwarranted preferences for federal contracts. Near the end of the hearing - which was marked by requests for the congresswoman to consider the tru… Continue Reading


08.01.09

Fairbanks jumps into federal

by Originally published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on August 01, 2009

FAIRBANKS - At least four Fairbanks car dealers said Friday they'll continue to sell cars under the popular "cash for clunkers program" despite mixed signals from the federal government about the program's fate. "We told a couple people (Thursday) night that it was done," Gene's Chrysler Sales Manager Scott Graham said. "Then (Friday) morning we wake up and everything is good. We're doing it on faith," he said. "We're watching the developments as close as we can. We're a little nervou… Continue Reading


07.31.09

Kensington decision to be early test of Obama on mining issues

by Originally published in the Alaska Journal of Commerce on July 31, 2009

The public comment period closes Aug. 3 on minor revisions to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Section 404 fill permit for the Kensington Mine near Juneau. However, the big uncertainty hanging over the project is whether the Corps will accede to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's July 14 request for an extended delay in the permit. If the Corps doesn't go along with the EPA, the environmental has authority to veto the Section 404 permit, according to the Corps of Enginee… Continue Reading


07.31.09

Murkowski introduces OCS revenue sharing bill

by Originally published in the Alaska Journal of Commerce on July 31, 2009

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, have introduced legislation that would guarantee a share of offshore oil and natural gas revenue to coastal states. The Domestic Energy Security Act of 2009 provides coastal states, including Alaska, a 37.5 percent stake in energy development off their shores. "This bipartisan bill will serve as the foundation for Alaska and other states to balance local economic and environmental concerns with national energy s… Continue Reading


07.30.09

Senate Appropriators Approve Murkowski Amendment to Fund a $3.4 Million Denali Commission Jobs Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate appropriations today approved an additional $3.378 million for a Denali Commission job training program as part of a Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations bill that cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee today, according to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. The Obama administration had zeroed out funding for Denali job training in its proposed FY 2010 federal budget. But Murkowski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, persuaded her fellow panel m… Continue Reading


07.26.09

Alaska senators defend Native corporations

by Betty Mills

WASHINGTON - Alaska Native corporations dodged a major bullet this week as Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich headed off an effort by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., to clamp down on their federal contracting with the Defense Department. McCaskill, who convened a hearing into the contracting issue just last week, filed an amendment to a pending defense bill that would have slapped new restrictions on preferences enjoyed by the Alaska native corporations. In the wake of swift action by th… Continue Reading


07.25.09

EPA standing ground regarding Kensington mine

by Kate Golden

Alaska's senators called on the head of the U.S. Environmental Agency to answer for the agency's actions regarding the Kensington gold mine this week. Robert Dillon, a Senate energy staffer who works for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, characterized the meeting as "congenial but direct." "Administrator (Lisa) Jackson was not willing to concede any ground during the meeting," he said. "She defended her people." Republican Murkowski and Democratic Sen. Mark Begich… Continue Reading


07.23.09

Murkowski seeks funding for new Arctic icebreakers

by Rob Stapleton

While the shallow-draft icebreaker Coast Guard Cutter Healy arrives at Alaska ports on its way to the Arctic, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is working to convince Congress to provide funding for a new fleet of Coast Guard icebreakers for the Arctic. Murkowski is a member of a U.S. Senate-House conference committee that will reconcile differences in the two chambers' appropriations bills to fund the Department of Homeland Security in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The Senate passe… Continue Reading


07.23.09

Murkowski calls for cautious mining reform

by Alaska Newspapers Staff

Reform of the nation's 137-year-old hardrock mining law is overdue, but Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says Congress should take a cautious approach to make sure the law doesn't wind up shutting down viable companies. Murkowski serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, which met last week to consider reform of the General Mining Act of 1872 that would make mines on federal land pay royalties for the first time. Murkowski, the panel's top Republican, expressed concern that … Continue Reading


07.23.09

Murkowski seeks funding for new Arctic icebreakers

by Rob Stapleton

By Rob Stapleton While the shallow-draft icebreaker Coast Guard Cutter Healy arrives at Alaska ports on its way to the Arctic, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is working to convince Congress to provide funding for a new fleet of Coast Guard icebreakers for the Arctic. Murkowski is a member of a U.S. Senate-House conference committee that will reconcile differences in the two chambers' appropriations bills to fund the Department of Homeland Security in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.… Continue Reading


07.23.09

Military construction bill would bring millions to Alaska

by Rob Stapleton

Military spending for construction is expected to get a boost in 2010, in large part due to a $133.9 billion construction appropriations bill being supported by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski with hopes of passing the Senate before a summer recess. If passed, the Defense Department would spend nearly $336 million in military construction on Alaska's Army and Air Force installations in fiscal year 2010, according to information from Murkowski. The construction appropriation is part of the M… Continue Reading


07.23.09

Murkowski, Begich Meet on EPA’s Mine Decision

by Libby Casey

Alaska's senators met on Thursday with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to talk about the Kensington Mine Project. They're upset that the EPA has asked for a re-evaluation of a permit - a move the senators say could stall the project. You can listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


07.23.09

Senator delays action on Native corporation contracting

by By Erika Bolstad and Elizabeth Bluemink

The U.S. senator who has been examining federal contracting preferences for Alaska Native corporations has decided to hold off on an amendment that would have opened the firms up to more competition for large Defense Department contracts. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who held an oversight hearing on Native corporation contracts last week, decided not to pursue an amendment for now, a spokeswoman for her office said. Wednesday night, she attached an amendment to a defense spending bill propo… Continue Reading


07.20.09

Murkowski joins call for more natural gas vehicles

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski added her name to a bill encouraging the manufacture of natural gas cars and trucks on Friday. The bill would extend and increase tax credits for natural gas vehicles and refueling stations. Murkowski said the bill not only decreases our dependence on foreign oil, it also saves consumers money at the pump and protects the environment.… Continue Reading

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