Articles & Op-eds

08.20.09

Murkowski blasts health care plan at town hall

by By Sean Cockerham. Originally published in the Anchorage Daily News on August 20, 2009

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski criticized Democratic plans to change health care before a crowd of hundreds Thursday night at a town hall meeting in Anchorage, while President Obama scrambled more than 3,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., to regain momentum for the effort. "We can go ahead and promise you a card and say you're now covered. But if we can't give you the care that you need, if you can't get into see a doctor, we can't help you," Murkowski told a crowd gathered at the Dimond High Schoo… Continue Reading


08.18.09

Murkowski, Begich weigh in on health care

by By Tim Bradner. Originally published in the Peninsula Clarion on August 18, 2009

Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are home from Congress for the August recess, and both are meeting with business and community groups, attempting to explain what's in various health care bills now before Congress. They're also responding to rising public concerns for the urgent need for some kind of health care reform, how a reform package might work and how it will be paid for. Murkowski was blunt in her criticism of groups that stir up fear. "Health care is very personal an… Continue Reading


08.15.09

Alaska's senators offer their views on health care reform

by By Tim Bradner. Originally published by the Alaska Journal of Commerce on August 15, 2009

Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are home from Congress for the August recess, and both are meeting with business and community groups, attempting to explain what's in various health care bills now before Congress. They're also responding to rising public concerns for the urgent need for some kind of health care reform, how a reform package might work and how it will be paid for. Murkowski was blunt in her criticism of groups that stir up fear. "Health care is very personal an… Continue Reading


08.14.09

Alaska Sen. Murkowski brings health care town hall to Fairbanks

by By Rena Delbridge. Originally published by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on August 14, 2009

FAIRBANKS - A town hall meeting about the national health care plan proposals proved more like a rally for less government, greater personal responsibility and the need for real system changes, than the confrontational, sometimes hostile forums taking place in many cities around the nation. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski found a receptive audience to her position - the health care system is a mess and must be fixed, but the proposals now on the table will saddle Americans with tremendous debt for ge… Continue Reading


08.13.09

EDITORIAL: Not far apart

At a Commonwealth North forum, Sen. Lisa Murkowski was asked how she and Sen. Mark Begich can have such different stands on health care reform. Murkowski said the two Alaska senators agree on the outcome they'd like to see. Their points of agreement amount to more than you might think. Both say health care reform should contain costs, make health care accessible to more people, and improve what Murkowski calls "the delivery system." Specifically, they both have said they support a model of… Continue Reading


08.13.09

EDITORIAL: Murkowski on health

by Originally published by the Anchorage Daily News on August 13, 2009

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's take on health care reform is that it's absolutely necessary -- but she's worried that Congress is trying to do too much too fast. Proposals on the table so far, she says, would hurt small businesses and not improve conditions for Medicare recipients, among other problems. Murkowski, who spoke at a Commonwealth North forum in Anchorage on Tuesday, proposes breaking health care reform into pieces and approving them one at a time. As a first item, Congress could work t… Continue Reading


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

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


08.02.09

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


08.01.09

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

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