Articles & Op-eds


Party peers in Senate vote Murkowski to leadership role

by Erika Bolstad

WASHINGTON - For Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, the past year has been a whirlwind: the top GOP spot on the Senate Energy committee, a slot on the Senate's powerful Appropriations Committee, and now, a seat at the Senate Republican leadership table. "I'm going to be busier, that's a given," Murkowski said, just after a press conference announcing her election to the GOP leadership ranks. "It just means that you work a little bit harder." Thursday, her Senate Republic… Continue Reading


Murkowski seeking Republican leadership post

by J. Taylor Rushing

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is seeking the vice chairmanship of the Senate Republican Conference, as a GOP leadership shuffle continues in the wake of Sen. John Ensign's (R-Nev.) admission of an extramarital affair. Murkowski began making calls to fellow GOP senators last week about her intent to replace Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) in the position. Thune last week told The Hill he is seeking the position of GOP Policy chairman, which Ensign has resigned. Murkowski also sent around a letter withi… Continue Reading


Murkowski seeks emergency funding for AWAIC

by Megan Baldino

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she is seeking emergency funding for the Abused Women's Aid in Crisis (AWAIC) Shelter in Anchorage because it is over capacity. "The shelter currently has 52 beds and is serving nearly 90 women and children. The local fire marshall has informed the shelter it cannot exceed 90 people," said Murkowski in a letter to Catherine Pierce, the acting director of the Justice Department's Violence Against Women office. On Monday, Murkowski sa… Continue Reading


Drill, Baby,Drill? Do It Sideways, Says Senator

by Coral Davenport

You've got to give Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski credit for persistence. Despite the odds, she's keeping alive the dream of drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That long effort came up short even when Republicans ruled Congress and two oilmen ran the White House. Now, with President Obama and the Democrats who run Congress pushing hard to cut fossil fuel emissions, expand renewable energy and safeguard the environment, the prospects for opening ANWR appear as far-fetc… Continue Reading


Senator Murkowski meets, greets Sotomayor

by Betty Mills

WASHINGTON - Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, came away impressed from a "meet and greet" meeting last week with Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. "She is a very thoughtful woman and clearly very learned," Murkowski told reporters after the one-hour private conversation with Sotomayor. "She is a woman who feels passionate about learning and the law," Murkowski added. Sotomayor has never been to Alaska but she expressed interest in visiting the state … Continue Reading


Land going to Alaska Natives

by Rena Delbridge

FAIRBANKS -- Fifty years after statehood and more than 37 years after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act passed, the federal government, state and Native corporations are still negotiating millions of acres of land transfers. The Bureau of Land Management filed public notice Friday to convey more than 554,000 acres to a handful of village and regional Native corporations. That figure includes 233,000 acres near Minto, McGrath and Tanacross to Fairbanks-based Doyon Ltd. Jim Mery, Doy… Continue Reading


Alaskans urge health care changes

by Sean Cockerham

Alaskans who crowded the Wilda Marston Theatre on Saturday told Sen. Mark Begich overwhelmingly they wanted Congress to create a "public option" for health care as an alternative to the nation's existing system based on private insurance. The question of whether health care reform should include a public health insurance plan to compete with private insurers is drawing intense attention. President Obama strongly favors it and most congressional Republicans are opposed, with the si… Continue Reading


Leadership Races Firming Up; Thune, Murkowski Clearing Field

by Jessica Brady

Sen. John Thune (S.D.) is expected to run unopposed to replace Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) as the Republican Policy Committee chairman. "Sen. Thune has received encouragement from his colleagues but continues to reach out and talk to them," spokesman Kyle Downey said. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) confirmed Thursday that she will run for vice chairwoman of the Conference, the post currently held by Thune. It is unclear whether Murkowski would face competition for the vice chairmanship. Sens… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Health care bill unworkable, unaffordable

Americans are looking to Congress and the White House to see whether lawmakers and the president will deliver on their promises to reform our health care system. As a member of the Senate committee considering comprehensive health care reform legislation, I am committed to working with both my Republican and Democratic colleagues. However, our success will be measured by whether we craft a health care bill that reduces costs while providing affordable, comprehensive medical coverage that ens… Continue Reading


Murkowski Wants Senate Leadership Post

by Libby Casey

Senator Lisa Murkowski is throwing her name into contention for a top GOP leadership job. She's vying to become the Senate Republican's Conference vice chairman. Click here to listen to the audio.… Continue Reading


Murkowski, Begich in town to talk healthcare reform

by Jason Lamb

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Both of Alaska's senators want to talk about healthcare with Alaskans about national plans to overhaul the system at a cost that could reach $1 trillion. It's caused a lot of friction on Capitol Hill and Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski want to hear what their constituents have to say. One idea President Barack Obama has proposed would require you to buy into either a private healthcare plan or one from the government. Preliminary estimates of the plan start … Continue Reading


Murkowski Meets with Supreme Court Nominee

by Libby Casey

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) met with Supreme Court Justice Nominee Judge Sotomayor on Thursday. Listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


Murkowski presses Sotomayor about past remarks

by Erika Bolstad

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Thursday she was pleased to hear Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor say she "looks to the law first" when making legal decisions, but the Alaska Republican also said she remains undecided on whether she will vote to confirm President Barack Obama's first high court pick. Murkowski met Thursday with Sotomayor, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Second Circuit who could become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. Her confirm… Continue Reading


Sen. Murkowski seeks spot in Republican leadership

by Betty Mills

WASHINGTON - Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has decided to seek a spot in the Senate Republican leadership that suddenly became available Wednesday. Murkowski is phoning GOP colleagues to gauge support for her race to be vice chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. The position is the fifth in the hierarchy of Senate Republican leaders. The closed-door election by Senate Republicans will be held June 25. The position opened up during a fast-paced day on Capitol Hill following th… Continue Reading


Alaskan lawmaker seeks Energy Dept. funds

The $28 million in funds offered by the U.S. Energy Department for Alaskan energy programs are attractive despite concerns from Gov. Sarah Palin, lawmakers say. Palin in a letter to the Energy Department complained the funding measure had too many strings attached for her to accept the $28.6 million in stimulus funds for Alaska's energy programs. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, however, said despite the objections from Palin, Alaska could use the funds effectively, the Platts news servic… Continue Reading


U.S. House energy bill has Alaska-friendly provisions

by Erika Bolstad

WASHINGTON -- A sweeping energy bill was approved Wednesday by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, with the support of the panel's top Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The bill, which passed 15-8, now goes to the Senate floor for consideration. The wide-ranging legislation includes a provision increasing the transparency of energy markets, establishes new energy efficiency standards for appliances and opens up additional areas of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to possible oi… Continue Reading


EDITORIAL: Murkowski wins agreement on health facts for restaurant food

On the menu When you look at the menu of a chain restaurant, along with the price you will soon see another number: calories. That's useful information, and it comes to us partly thanks to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Murkowski introduced a bill last year to require restaurants nationwide to list calories and nutrients for their offerings. Given the obesity epidemic, she believes restaurant-goers need the information to make informed choices. Without a guide, it's impossible to te… Continue Reading


GAO Reports Minimal Progress in RelocatingAlaska Native Villages Threatened by Erosion

by Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska-Despite ongoing erosion that is exacerbated by a warming climate, little progress has been made in the efforts to partially or completely relocate a dozen Alaska Native villages, the Government Accountability Office said in a report issued June 3. Of the more than 200 Native villages in Alaska, most are being affected by flooding and erosion that is linked, at least in part, to rapid climate change in the far north, according to the report, Alaska Native Villages: Limited P… Continue Reading


Murkowski and Begich Allied on Pipeline

by Libby Casey

Outside the Energy Committee and across the aisle, US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) has a supporter for her pipeline loan guarantee measures. Alaska's Junior Senator, Mark Begich (D). Listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


U.S. bill to raise Alaska gas pipeline loan guarantee

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) - Key U.S. lawmakers have reached a deal on legislation that would boost the federal government's loan guarantee for building a massive pipeline that would transport Alaska's huge natural gas reserves to the lower 48 States. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Democratic chairman Jeff Bingaman and top panel Republican Lisa Murkowski have agreed to a measure that would raise the 2004 loan guarantee program for the pipeline project to $30 billion from $18… Continue Reading

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