Press Releases

Media Requests: Members of the media can contact the press office by emailing karina_borger@murkowski.senate.gov or by calling 202-224-6665 and asking for the press office.

03.21.12

Murkowski Questions TSA’s Kuspuk Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today asked the Transportation Security Administration head whether the TSA was sufficiently considering cultural sensitivities in their screening process. Her questions were inspired by Alaska TSA treatment of the traditional Alaska Native garment, the kuspuk - in NW Alaska Native communities called a qaspeq or Atikluk. Senator Murkowski shared the following anecdote and observation with TSA Administrator John Pistole today: "I was wearing a kuspuk… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Alaska's Army Presence to Remain Stable, U.S. Army General Tells Murkowski

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today questioned United States Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno, asking for certainty that while the Pentagon is envisioning widespread cuts in the Department of Defense, Alaska's Army presence will remain roughly equal to its current level. Senator Murkowski referred to comments Odierno made during a recent stop in Hawaii, asking "you mentioned that the number of soldiers that are assigned to the Pacific will gen… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Murkowski: Supreme Court Decision Provides for Review of EPA Compliance Orders

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today praised the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision upholding the right of land owners to have a court review attempts to regulate use of their private property by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "The Sacketts' story exemplifies the impact of EPA overreach on the personal property rights of Americans," Murkowski said. "Today is a good day for the rule of law and a validation not only of the concerns voiced by so many that … Continue Reading


03.21.12

Murkowski: TSA's "One Size Fits All" Approach Unfit For Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today pressed Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole for answers about the TSA's approach in Alaska - through a series of questions ranging from sensitivity to passengers with special needs, to added safety expenses being passed along to consumers, to the security risk of Alaska Native traditional clothing. In a hearing of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Murkowski opened up the exchange by questioning the… Continue Reading


03.16.12

Alaska Senators Question IHS on Village Built Clinics Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich sent a letter today to Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Director of the Indian Health Service, asking for answers about the Village Built Clinics program in Alaska - and why the available funds aren't being directed to rural health concerns. "We respectfully request that you respond to us in writing regarding the Indian Health Service's failure to carry out its responsibilities to fully fund the leases IHS has entered into for Village Built Clini… Continue Reading


03.16.12

Murkowski Welcomes Progress on King Cove Access Road

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement on the release of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's environmental impact statement on construction of an emergency road to connect the remote communities of King Cove and Cold Bay. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the land exchange without choosing a preferred alternative action, which allows a proposal to provide emergency surface access for King C… Continue Reading


03.16.12

Murkowski: Failure to Pursue Bill Allen Sends “Awful Message”

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Lisa Murkowski questioned Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Bill Mueller about the lapsed investigation of former VECO head Bill Allen on sex trafficking charges. Given the FBI's partnership with the Anchorage Police Department in investigating the allegations against Allen, she asked Mueller if there is any reason the Justice Department has not moved forward on the case, adding "this has stunned people in Alaska who cannot understand why the Department of Justic… Continue Reading


03.15.12

Sen. Murkowski: 'All of the Above' Should Be More Than Rhetoric

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, went to the Senate floor today to speak about the importance of a rational energy policy, including serious steps to increase domestic oil production, and to respond to President Obama's comments on high energy prices. "It was a step forward for the President to embrace Republicans' long-standing calls for an 'all of the above' energy policy. But those remain words, not actions, on his part. And if today's speech is any indication, he does … Continue Reading


03.15.12

Murkowski: "Justice Should Be Blind, Not Blindly Ignored"

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today introduced major bipartisan legislation, the Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act, designed to create a nationwide standard for disclosure of exculpatory evidence to defendants in federal courtrooms nationwide. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-IL) is the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the bill, introduced the same day as the release of U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan's report into prosecutorial misconduct in the 2008 trial of Senator Ted Stevens… Continue Reading


03.15.12

Murkowski Calls for VA Improvements in "Closer to Home" Care

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Lisa Murkowski pushed for improved service for Alaska's widely-dispersed veteran community from Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki - while expressing her appreciation to Shinseki for "incremental progress" in recent improvements in VA care provided Alaskans. "We've seen a 38% reduction in vets who have to travel out of state for care," observed Murkowski. "That's good progress, but as we've discussed there are still those who are sent outside to Seattle when ther… Continue Reading


03.14.12

Murkowski Continues Questioning Air Force on “Problematic” Eielson Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today questioned Secretary of the United States Air Force Michael Donley and USAF Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz on the reasoning behind their proposed move of the F-16 Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. Calling the proposal "problematic," Senator Murkowski asked General Schwartz, "We've currently got about 400 soldiers at J-BER already in temporary barracks. By relocatin… Continue Reading


03.14.12

Murkowski Spotlights Legacy Well Double Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today questioned Interior Department officials over the agency's failure to properly plug and clean up more than 100 abandoned federally-drilled oil wells in Northern Alaska. At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Interior Subcommittee, Sen. Murkowski asked Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey why it's taking the agency so long to remediate an estimated 137 abandoned wells that were drilled by the federal government, between 1944 to 1981, in … Continue Reading


03.14.12

Murkowski Transportation Fight Reaps Results for Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Murkowski today cast her vote for S.1813, MAP-21 (the Surface Transportation Bill), and came out of the process pleased that Alaska's needs were addressed after several rounds of negotiations with her Senate colleagues. Under this legislation, Alaskans will see: Funding of over $500M per year for highway programs; Unnecessary duplicative programs consolidated; Project delivery times improved by streamlining the environmental review process; Continued federal fin… Continue Reading


03.14.12

Statistics "Speak for Themselves"

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today questioned Interior Department officials about the decline in oil production from federal lands and waters - despite the President's claims that production is up. President Obama has said that "under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years," but the Department of the Interior's own data indicates that oil production is actually down 14 on federal lands and down 17 percent from fe… Continue Reading


03.13.12

Murkowski Congratulates Dallas Seavey on Iditarod Victory

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today congratulated Dallas Seavey and his team on winning their first Iditarod Sled Dog Trail Race: "I congratulate Dallas and his team on their remarkable victory in this year's Iditarod sled dog race, becoming the youngest musher to ever win, at age 25. He has skills and a determination beyond his years. His win today continues what is already a busy 2012 for his family - with his 15-year old brother Conway winning the Junior Iditarod in February. … Continue Reading


03.13.12

Murkowski Welcomes Home First of the 1st Stryker, 25th Infantry Division

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Murkowski today personally shared a "Welcome Home" message with roughly 200 soldiers of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division that returned home to Fort Wainwright after a year-long deployment: "I want to join all your friends, all your family in welcoming you home, to our brave Arctic warriors. Know that you have done a phenomenal job serving us as you have been over in Afghanistan this past year. We are proud of you as a Nation, we are certa… Continue Reading


03.13.12

Murkowski Expresses Disappointment in BLM-OSM Merger Analysis

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today responded to an analysis released by the Interior Department related to its plan to merge the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) into the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). "While I appreciate Interior's commitment to avoid violations of its statutory responsibilities, this analysis fails to quantify how the proposed merger will actually generate savings and efficiencies," Murkowski said. "We asked for a clear summary of the costs and bene… Continue Reading


03.13.12

Murkowski: President Should Look Closer to Home for Critical Minerals

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement that the administration was filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization over China's policy of restricting export of its rare earth minerals: "The president wants to sue the Chinese for something that we could - and should - be producing for ourselves. Instead of settling for Chinese imports, the president should be taking steps to jumpstart develop… Continue Reading


03.13.12

Murkowski: Implementation of DOE Loan Programs Requires Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today expressed a willingness to reform the Department of Energy's loan programs but said that if she had to grade DOE's handling of the programs it would "not receive a passing grade." Her comments came during the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's long-awaited oversight hearing, which was scheduled only after completion of an audit by former Fannie Mae CEO Herb Allison. Murkowski had been calling for a hearing on DOE loan p… Continue Reading


03.13.12

Murkowski Delivers Keynote Address at TREM Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today delivered the keynote address at the Technology and Rare Earth Metals (TREM) Center's 12th Annual Conference. The Senator's remarks highlighted the importance of domestic mineral production and the urgent need to update federal policies in this area. "There is no question that a stable and affordable supply of minerals is critical to America's future competitiveness. And yet - despite that - our mineral-related capabilities have … Continue Reading

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