Articles & Op-eds


Alaska Public Radio Network: Alaska’s Senators Split Their Votes on Financial Reform

Alaska's Senators split their votes last night on a financial reform bill that passed 59 to 39. Democrats largely supported it, and all but four Republicans were against it. Listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Alaska delegation united in push for offshore oil revenue sharing

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sen. Mark Begich says the state is close to getting a share of tax revenues from offshore oil drilling -- which usually bypass Alaska and go straight to the federal government. Shell Oil is getting very close to drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. Those are federal waters, and like many states Alaska wants a portion of the wealth. All three members of Alaska's congressional delegation are in town this week, and they held a rare joint appearance at an Anchorage Chamber… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: New Health Care Law Will Increase Costs, Reduce Benefits

Throughout the year-long debate over health care reform, President Obama promised that the legislation would reduce the spiraling cost of health care and that if you liked your health care plan, you could keep it. But a couple of new government reports confirm what many of us who opposed a federal takeover of the health care system feared all along - higher costs, less access and unsustainable spending. According to Rick Foster, the chief actuary of the administration's own Centers for Medicare… Continue Reading


KTVA (CBS): Congressional delegation urges standing together against "Washington's Assault On Alaska"

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTVA-CBS 11 News) Memories of Governor Wally Hickel's candid attitude and the federal government not controlling Alaska's resources were on the minds of Alaska's entire congressional delegation in a rare, joint address before the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Monday. All three leaders took on the former governor's spirit in urging Alaskans to tell the federal government to back off. "I think Wally would be really glad this forum was going on today," says Sen. Lisa Murkowski,… Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Senators propose Native American Economic Advisory Council

JUNEAU - Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye introduced last week a bill that would create the first-ever Native American Economic Advisory Council. Inouye said is his news release he wanted to establish an official venue for the Native community to provide input and share ideas with the Executive branch. "In order to help shape the economic and social policies that govern the lives of indigenous peoples we have to rely on their insight and institutiona… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Delegation united in support of Shell's Arctic drilling

Alaska's pro-offshore drilling congressional delegation is optimistic that federal regulators will give Shell Oil a green light to explore in waters off the North Slope this summer. Their testimonial to opening a controversial new oil frontier in Arctic waters came as Shell filed new assurances with federal regulators that the company has adopted new safeguards in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill. The three-member congressional delegation had a rare convergence in Anchorage on Monday at a … Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska senators comment on Supreme Court nominee

FAIRBANKS - Alaska's senators have been reserved in their comments about President Obama's second Supreme Court pick. Last week, President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the seat that will be open with the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens this summer. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski released a statement shortly after the announcement, congratulating Kagan and stating she looks forward to Kagan's confirmation hearing. "As a senator, I have a constitutional duty - one t… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Murkowski fights for funding for Yukon River fishermen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to a request by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski to include $5 million in a 2010 supplemental appropriations bill for Yukon River salmon fishermen. Murkowski says the economic disaster assistance would help fishermen and communities affected by the failure of the Yukon River chinook salmon fishery. "What we're able to do with this $5 million will be to get direct payments to those that were affected by the salmon fishery failure," Murko… Continue Reading


The Associated Press: Murkowski launches YouTube segment

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is reaching out to constituents via YouTube. The Alaska Republican has posted her first "Ask Lisa" segment online. In it, she answers questions that she says Alaskans sent in by e-mail or Facebook. Issues discussed in the roughly 5-minute video were the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, whether taxpayer money would be used for abortions under the federal health care overhaul and whether Congress was weighing making permanent a higher FDIC insurance limit. Murko… Continue Reading


Oil and Gas Journal: Alaska lawmakers oppose wilderness review in ANWR update

WASHINGTON, DC, May 10 -- The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's 22-year-old comprehensive conservation plan needs to be updated, Alaska's congressional delegation conceded on May 4. That should not include further wilderness reviews since such designations can only be made by Congress, it continued in a letter submitted at a US Fish & Wildlife Service scoping hearing on the matter. "The Fish & Wildlife Service's limited financial resources-and taxpayer dollars-should not be wasted on su… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski questions Holder on terrorism, 9th Circuit

Sen. Lisa Murkowski had the chance to question Attorney General Eric Holder last week about the attempted bombing in New York's Times Square. At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce and Justice, Murkowski asked Holder how accused bomber Faisal Shahzad was able to get on a plane headed for the Persian Gulf after he had already been placed on the government's no-fly list. "I come from a state where ... we've got a level of scrutiny at our little airports ... where peop… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Monroe Catholic High School graduates reflect on close ties

FAIRBANKS - It only takes an audience of 40 to make U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski nervous - so long as the audience is full of Monroe Catholic High School graduates. Murkowski said to Monroe's class of 2010 that she had been fumbling for words to tell the teens before they graduated Saturday in Boileau Hall. "I'll admit I was nervous," she told the private high school's 40 graduates. "I give speeches all the time. Many days, I give three speeches a day, but it's different when you come back to thos… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC):Murkowski unveils online plan to connect with constituents

Anchorage, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski is trying to better connect with her constituents by using social networking websites. The senator is welcoming questions from Alaskans on Facebook and Twitter through a new feature called "Ask Lisa." All you have to do is post a question with your name and the city or town you live in. Murkowski says she will answer those questions in videos posted on YouTube. "Everything that we can do to enhance communication is good and important and what we're wor… Continue Reading


Alaska Journal of Commerce: Sea treaty has broad support, but little chance of ratification

The Law of the Sea Treaty has bipartisan support as well the endorsement of the military, energy industry and environmental groups. Still, it has almost no chance of being ratified this year. On the table in revised form since a 1994 agreement eliminated its most objectionable provisions, ratification of LOST requires 67 votes in the United States Senate and is being pushed hard by Alaska's delegation of Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Sen. Mark Begich. Originally put forward by th… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: EDITORIAL: Securing response: Alaska’s senators seek to solidify funding for oil spill response fund

Alaska's senators have offered a small change to federal law that would help ensure money is available for rapid, large-scale response to oil spills such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich introduced legislation that would extend and expand funding for the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The federal fund is fed by an eight-cent tax on every barrel of oil. It has about $1.6 billion in it, but that might not be enough to handle large or multiple spills. The sen… Continue Reading


The Hill: Murkowski wants exemption from consumer bureau for banks, credit unions with less than $5 billion

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is backing legislation that would exempt banks and credit unions with less than $5 billion in assets from the reach of a new consumer regulator. The financial overhaul bill under debate in the Senate aims largely at big banks and Wall Street financial firms. A centerpiece of the bill is a new consumer protection regulator with broad power to set and enforce rules over financial products, such as home loans and credit cards. House and Senate lawmakers have looked … Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network:

Alaska's Senators have introduced a bill that would boost the amount of money oil companies are taxed to pay for spill disasters. Their legislation comes as BP struggles to plug and clean up a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Listen to APRN's audio here.… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Alaska's senators want to beef up U.S. spill liability fund

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's two U.S. senators want to beef up the nation's oil spill liability fund. The fund is administered by the Coast Guard and pays for response costs and damages in cases where the responsible party hasn't paid. The fund currently has $1.6 billion, but Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski want to raise that to $10 billion by increasing the fee oil companies pay from 8 cents to 9 cents per barrel. "It's not just about the Gulf of Mexico, it's any oil spill that may occ… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Murkowski says containing spill, not laying blame, should be focus

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is threatening the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. While engineers attempt to find a way to plug the leaks, BP and the Coast Guard are working with private citizens to protect the coast. Recent developments in the weather and ocean currents have been favorable, keeping most of the oil offshore and giving coastal defenders time to prepare. In Washington D.C., Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says now is not the time to plac… Continue Reading


ABC News: GOP: Hold Off on BP Hearings; Senators Avoid Terror Story for Now

The day after a suspected terrorist was arrested trying to flee the country, Republican senators didn't even mention the threat at their weekly press conference. Instead, they focused on the Gulf of Mexico oil slick and urged Democrats to slow down Capitol Hill hearings on who is to blame for disaster. Despite some early indications that Republicans would go on the offensive toward the Obama administration for arresting Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen, and reading him his Miranda… Continue Reading

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