Articles & Op-eds


Alaska Public Radio Network: Tribal Law Legislation Takes Big Step

A new law aimed at improving justice and safety for Alaska Natives and Native Americans is awaiting President Obama's signature. The Tribal Law and Order Act won bi-partisan support, and passed the US House on Wednesday. The President says he will sign it, and in a written statement called it "an important step" to help the federal government better address public safety challenges confronting tribal communities. It mostly relates to Reservation lands and Indian Country outside Alaska, but Sen… Continue Reading


Tundra Drums: Murkowski: Congress passes law to enhance rural policing

The Tribal Law and Order Act is on its way to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature following House passage of the legislation today, according to a statement from Sen. Lisa Murkowksi. The bill, which passed the Senate last month, would improve law enforcement and the justice system on Indian reservations in the Lower 48. Murkowski, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, secured several provisions in the bill that would address the lack of law enforcement… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski slams Democrats for excessive spending

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski criticized Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee last week for not doing more to cut federal spending. Democrats on the appropriations committee, which Murkowski sits on, passed a $14 billion budget cut, less than the $20 billion cut proposed by Republicans. That $20 billion cut would have frozen discretionary spending at last year's levels, the senator said. "Next year's deficit is going to be in the range of $1.4 trillion. It took all the presidents… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Washing off boat deck still OK

KODIAK -- Fishermen and other boaters can rest easier knowing they won't need a federal permit to hose off their decks. A bill that just passed the Senate extends the moratoria on discharge permit requirements for commercial and charter fishing vessels beyond the July 31 deadline. "Say you're a sport fishing guide and you've taken your clients out, gotten a few halibut and you come in and hose off the deck. That would be a reportable discharge. They are talking about deck runoff, bilge water, … Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Alaska's U.S. senators split on financial reform vote

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's U.S. senators were split on Thursday's vote for financial reform. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 60 to 39. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was a no vote, while Sen. Mark Begich voted yes on the legislation. The 2,300-page document is expected to end the concept of banks being too big to fail, and adds new protections for millions of consumers. Murkowski says the legislation isn't what Alaskans expect from Wall Street reform. "Like the recent overhauls of the health… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Murkowski, Begich remember Maurice 'Mo' Bailey

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are remembering Maurice "Mo" Bailey, an advocate for Alaskan veterans who passed away Tuesday evening after a battle with leukemia. Bailey enlisted in the army at the age of 17, and served for 20 years. He decided to stay in Alaska and founded the Veterans Aviation Outreach. Murkowski says Bailey never gave up his fight to obtain the Veterans Administration benefits he and others earned through their service. "Just maybe Mo's … Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: Valley mourns loss of veterans advocate

WASILLA - Maurice Bailey never quit on life or on Alaska veterans. From the time he forged his father's signature on the consent form to join the Army at age 17 until his death on Tuesday, Bailey was a passionate patriot and advocate for veterans of all eras. For the last two years of his life, Bailey lived every day like it could be his last following a devastating diagnosis. He had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and his survival was estimated at 12 months on the outside. In an interview with … Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch: Alaska’s senators oppose EPA’s proposed ban on avgas

has met with opposition from Alaska's congressional delegation. The agency has waged a war against lead ingredients in many substances over the past 30 years. Its newest target, leaded aviation gas, fuels planes that have piston engines. In an attempt to move toward unleaded aviation gas, the EPA plans on banning or increasing regulation of leaded gas used in piston engine aircraft. Planes using leaded aviation gas emit neurotoxins that interfere with brain development in children, according t… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski, Parnell to attend Coast Guard memorial

SITKA -- Gov. Sean Parnell and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski plan to attend the memorial for the Coast Guard crew whose helicopter crashed off the Washington coast last week. Today's memorial is being held in Sitka, the Southeast Alaska community where the crew was based. Coast Guard officials, including the commandant, Adm. Robert J. Papp, also are expected to attend. The crew was returning home from Astoria, Ore., when the helicopter crashed off La Push, Wash.; there was one survivor. Killed wer… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski voices opposition to Elena Kagan for Supreme Court justice

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski is one of the first senators to say she will oppose Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination. In a statement released to media outlets Friday, Murkowski, a Republican, commended Kagan's teaching ability, but said that Kagan's overall responses to the questions senators have posed to her in the past week were "clever and graceful but not terribly revealing and in many cases evasive." Murkowski, who opposed Kagan's nomination for the solicitor general position she n… Continue Reading


The Associated Press: GOP leader, Murkowski oppose Kagan nomination

WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan drew opposition Friday from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and two members of the GOP rank and file, including Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, raising the prospect of a confirmation largely along party lines. "The American people expect a justice who will impartially apply the law, not one who will be a rubberstamp for the Obama administration or any other administration," McConnell said in a written statement one day after Kagan, 50, wrappe… Continue Reading


KCAW Radio (Sitka): Sealaska lands bill changes made public

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski released changes to her Sealaska lands-selection legislation Thursday (July 1st). They shift some timber harvest areas away from northern Prince of Wales Island. And they remove 17 of 46 Native Futures Sites, which are slated for ecotourism, transportation and energy development. The revised bill is based on amendments that have been circulating among interest groups for weeks. But officials say more changes may be on the way. Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon says… Continue Reading


The Associated Press: Engine problems sideline Coast Guard icebreaker

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Engine problems will keep the Coast Guard's only functioning heavy icebreaker in port for the rest of the year. Inspections of the main diesel engines of the 32-year-old Polar Sea revealed premature excessive wear in 33 cylinder assemblies. A Coast Guard spokesman said repairs will take until at least January. Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, called the development disappointing. The vessel had been scheduled to support operatio… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Senators Debate Climate Change, Energy Legislation With President

Both of Alaska's Senators attended a White House meeting Tuesday on climate change and energy legislation. They were among a group of 23 Senators summoned by President Obama to the closed-door meeting to talk over policy. The White House called it a "constructive exchange" and said the President is still pushing for putting a price on carbon. The White House says that would make clean energy profitable, and hold polluting companies responsible. Begich said in advance of the meeting that he thin… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Alaska Native Staffers Keep Senators on Top of Everything

Alaska's Congressional offices in Washington have to be "in the know" on a huge range of topics and issues. And it's up to the staffers to keep their bosses on top of everything. In the offices of Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Mark Begich, two young Alaska Native women have vital roles when it comes to Native issues. You can listen to APRN's audio here.… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Senate passes legislation to improve Alaska village law enforcement

FAIRBANKS - The Senate has passed legislation targeted at improving law enforcement on Indian reservations and in rural Alaska villages. The Tribal Law and Order Act, which passed the Senate through unanimous consent, would allow the state of Alaska, tribes and tribal organizations that employ village public safety officers to fund the positions through federal grants or congressional earmarks, thanks to amendments introduced by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. "Roughly 90 communities in rural … Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski takes on EPA, federal spending in Fairbanks speech

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski railed against an "overreaching" administration and government agencies in a speech Friday during the weekly Interior Republican luncheon. Murkowski warned the crowd of several dozen people about the $5.8 trillion public debt,.which she said will double in five years and triple in 10 years if government spending continues on its current course. "There is nothing more out of check than what is happening with the debt, what is happening with the deficit," she said… Continue Reading


Associated Press: Murkowski wants more heavy icebreakers

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the temporary loss of the nation's only working heavy icebreaker threatens the nation's ability to respond to Arctic emergencies. Murkowski's office says the Alaska Republican has introduced legislation to fund the construction of two Polar class icebreakers, as well as to improve Arctic navigation and maritime infrastructure. Murkowski says she was notified by the Coast Guard that the nation's only working heavy icebreaker would be out of service until at least J… Continue Reading


Associated Press: Murkowski addresses spending, EPA; calls efforts 'badge of honor'

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in a speech before Interior Republicans, said she considers her attempt to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act to be a "badge of honor." Senate Republicans, and the six Democrats who voted with them to advance Murkowski's resolution, said Congress should be in charge of writing climate change policy. They said the EPA rules would drive up energy costs and kill jobs. The Senate defeated the resolution 53-4… Continue Reading


USA Today: Congress advances tough new sanctions on Iran

Congress has voted to impose tough new economic sanctions on Iran's energy industry, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature. On a 99-to-0 vote, the Senate passed a measure that would penalize companies that import gas and other refined energy products to Iran. The bill also would ban U.S. banks from dealing with foreign banks that do business with the Revolutionary Guard or aid Iran's nuclear program, according to the Associated Press. The House vote to approve the measure wa… Continue Reading

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