Senator Murkowski - eNewsletter 01-30-09
Inauguration week with so many Alaskans was great!
Senators Murkowski and Begich with dancers from Barrow who performed in the Inaugural Parade.
It has been great to see so many old friends and new faces from home in my office and at the open house coffee Senator Begich and I hosted the day after inauguration.
Meeting with the Colony High Marching Band
Senator Murkowski speaks to students.
Sen. Murkowski Joins Senate Appropriations Committee
Sen. Murkowski becomes Ranking Member on the Energy Committee
Senator Murkowski speaks at an Energy Committee hearing.
In my new role, I will continue to promote a three-pronged energy policy that includes energy conservation and efficiency, alternative and renewable energy, and increased domestic production. By pursuing these three goals, we can make significant progress on enhancing our energy security.
Sen. Murkowski votes no on releasing more TARP funds
On January 15, 2009, I voted against giving the Treasury Department access to the remaining $350 billion in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Last year Congress authorized the Treasury Department to spend $350 billion to help restore the flow of capital to our financial institutions but we have seen little accountability as to how those funds were spent and have not yet seen stability in the capital markets. I have not received satisfactory assurances that the remaining $350 billion will be used effectively. Unfortunately many in the Senate did not share my concerns and senators voted, 52 – 42, to give the Treasury Department authority to spend the $350 billion remaining in the $700 billion economic rescue plan.
I am hopeful that the concerns raised by the TARP Oversight Panel will serve as a wake-up call for the Treasury Department to more closely address the oversight issues raised by Congress and the panel.
Sen. Murkowski welcomes passage of Public Lands bill for Alaska
Senator Murkowski with King Cove residents.
Other Alaska provisions included in the lands package are an amendment to the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act, and language granting competitive status for certain federal employees in Alaska, allowing local hire within the National Park Service to Alaska residents applying for full-time positions. The bill also contains a provision allowing for the establishment of a Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area to promote local tourism, and a 12-acre land conveyance to the City of Coffman Cove of U.S. Forest Service-owned land within the city. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives where we anticipate quick action so that it can be sent to the President for his signature.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar promises to visit Alaska
Senator Murkowski and Secretary of the Interior Salazar.
Secretary Salazar has promised to visit Alaska and learn firsthand about the unique challenges Alaskans face. As head of the Interior Department, Secretary Salazar will oversee a number of issues important to Alaska. I look forward to showing him our great State and working with him to expand responsible energy development in Alaska.