Press Releases

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


Murkowski Announces Deputy Chief of Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Lisa Murkowski today announced longtime Alaskan Jim Palmer as her Deputy Chief of Staff. This enhanced policy role to her Alaskan staff reflects a desire to better serve Alaska through an increased state presence. Palmer, a veteran of statewide and DC politics, will direct operations from Senator Murkowski's Anchorage office and will be making additional hires to further expand service to Alaskans. "Jim Palmer brings a commitment to service along with a sense of… Continue Reading


Murkowski Sees “Bad Math” In Cook Inlet Critical Habitat Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Lisa Murkowski says today's designation of over 3,000 square miles of Cook Inlet as Critical Habitat is far costlier than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) figures contend. NOAA announced today it is designating two areas of Alaska's Cook Inlet as critical habitat for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale, while exempting the Port of Anchorage and Eagle River Flats Range. "I understand the Beluga habitat needs protection, but I have seri… Continue Reading


Murkowski on Budget Deal: “Why Did It Take So Long?”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Lisa Murkowski today expressed relief Capitol Hill lawmakers reached an 11th hour budget agreement to keep the federal government running, but questioned the politics of the process, asking "Why did it take so long?" Weeks of negotiations culminated late Friday night with a deal between the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, and the President - as leadership compromised on a budget for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year containing $39 billion in cuts. They … Continue Reading


Murkowski Fights For Alaska Native 8(a)s

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As some on Capitol Hill single out and challenge Alaska Native Corporations' participation in the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program, Senator Lisa Murkowski lashed back in a hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. "My colleagues want to measure the Indian 8(a) program with a spreadsheet, but bean counters can't measure self-sufficiency or innovation." The Alaska Native Corporations are exempted from a contract cap and automatically classified as "… Continue Reading


Murkowski Welcomes Administration’s Decision to Increase Funding for Hydropower

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today applauded the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior for investing $26.6 million to advance hydropower technology. "There is no question that hydropower is, and must continue to be, part of our energy solution," Murkowski said. "The administration's investment is a long-overdue down payment on expanding our use of hydro to generate clean, baseload power." Murkowski has long been a strong proponent of hydropo… Continue Reading


Murkowski Steps Up Fight Against Alaskan Youth Suicide

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Lisa Murkowski today joined efforts to extend needed funds, service and resources to Alaska's at-risk youth communities -- as a co-sponsor of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization of 2011. The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Tom Udall (D-NM), would strengthen suicide prevention efforts for the state, tribal organizations, and college campuses. "Alaska's children are our most valuable natural resource - … Continue Reading


Murkowski Signals Willingness to Revisit, Reform Biofuels Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today spoke on her concerns with current biofuels policies during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. "I'm hopeful that today will mark the start of a larger conversation between all of the stakeholders affected by biofuels policy," Murkowski said. "I believe that biofuels have a definite and ongoing place in our fuel supply, but it is important to realize that we face a range of problems, related to infrastruc… Continue Reading


Murkowski: Members of Congress Should Set Energy Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today commented on the series of four roll call votes - three sought by Senate Democrats and one sought by Senate Republicans - to modify, delay or block the Environmental Protection Agency's climate regulations: "Imposing energy taxes through EPA's command-and-control regulations will destroy jobs, increase costs of living, and reduce growth and innovation. We need a permanent fix for the EPA's efforts to implement backdoor climat… Continue Reading


Murkowski: “Alaska Loses, America Loses” If Government Shuts Down

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As a potential shutdown of the federal government looms, Senator Lisa Murkowski is urging her Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle: "Forget the talking points and get the job done." "Over 17,000 Alaskans may be kept from doing the most basic function: Waking up and going to work," Murkowski said. "While it's crucial for the government to get its spending under control, our inability to reach a deal shouldn't keep our troops or Bureau of Land Management employ… Continue Reading


Murkowski Introduces Revised Sealaska Lands Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has introduced legislation that would allow Southeast Alaska's Sealaska Native Regional Corp. to complete the land selection promised to its shareholders nearly 40 years ago under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The Sealaska bill, originally introduced in 2007 and again in 2009, has undergone major revisions over the past year to reflect public comments gathered at town-hall meetings in Southeast communities, and fr… Continue Reading


Murkowski Speaks on Misguided “Use It or Lose It” Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, yesterday made the following statement on the U.S. Senate Floor: "Mr. President, I would like to take a few minutes this afternoon to perhaps switch the discussion from what my colleagues were referring to earlier in terms of the budget and speak a little bit about the issue of energy--obviously, a topic of great concern. "The President has addressed it as recently as last week in a major address at Georgetown. There have been a … Continue Reading


Murkowski Meets with Future Coast Guard Alaska Commander

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The nominee for command of the Coast Guard's 17th District met with U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today, telling her he fully recognizes the critical importance of Coast Guard missions in Alaska. Rear Admiral Thomas P. Ostebo served at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He told the Senator the assignment gave him a first-hand understanding of Alaska's weather and resource challenges. Murkowski shared her concerns about the decommis… Continue Reading


Murkowski Backs Health Care Reform Fix For Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska voted to repeal the 1099 tax reporting mandate - a portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that forced small businesses to file IRS tax forms when any business transaction passes a $600 threshold. "It shouldn't take seven Senate votes to rip up paperwork and speed up our economic recovery; this was a must for Alaska's small businesses," Murkowski said. "With the challenges facing our business community, both statewide… Continue Reading


Murkowski Announces New Communications Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska has announced Alaskan broadcast journalist Matthew Felling as her new Communications Director. "I look forward to having Matthew lead my communications team," Murkowski said. "As a veteran of both Alaska and D.C. reporting, he brings valuable experience and insight to my staff, and will bolster our efforts to keep Alaskans informed on so many of the issues that impact our state." Felling comes to Sen. Murkowski's office after being le… Continue Reading



WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and the VA's Undersecretary for Health, Dr. Robert Petzel, promised U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski that the VA will do better in purchasing care for Alaska veterans from Alaska community providers, rather than require they travel to the VA Hospital in Seattle, when the VA cannot provide the care at its facilities in Alaska. Murkowski today in a Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee hearing questioned Shinseki and Petzel abo… Continue Reading


Alaska Delegation Supports Gov. Parnell’s “Choose Respect” Initiative with D.C. Rally

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Senator Lisa Murkowski joined with Senator Mark Begich and Representative Don Young in a show of support from the Alaska delegation of Governor Parnell's "Choose Respect" initiative, in organizing a rally today in front of the U.S. Capitol, to stand together in solidarity, with their staffs and Alaskans living in D.C., against the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault that plagues Alaska. There were over sixty marches and rallies held across Alaska, from Barrow… Continue Reading


Murkowski Comments on Hydro, Energy-Water Integration Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today made the following opening statement at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on two hydropower bills and the energy-water integration portion of the 2009 American Clean Energy Leadership Act: "As you know, I've long been a strong hydropower proponent. I consider hydropower to be our hardest working renewable resource - one that often gets overlooked in the clean energy debate. "There is no question that … Continue Reading


Murkowski Questions Air Force Leadership on Alternative Fuel and Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today in a Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing, questioned Air Force leaders on alternative fuel initiatives in Alaska and proposals to modernize the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) currently under environmental study. Continuing her leadership on energy issues, Murkowski asked Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley, where the Air Force is headed with alternative fuel, referring specifically to Alaska's mili… Continue Reading


Murkowski Comments on Army’s Decision to Split Base the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today commented on the Army's announcement to split base the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade presently stationed at Fort Wainwright with Joint Base Lewis-McChord (Fort Lewis) Washington. "With speculation that the Army would relocate the entire 16th Combat Aviation Brigade to the lower 48, I am relieved at the Army's decision to split base the brigade and keep most aviations assets at Fort Wainwright, including the additional placement … Continue Reading


Senators Introduce Legislation to Preserve STORIS for Museum

Calling it a fitting tribute to the service and sacrifices of Coast Guard men and women in Alaska, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today introduced legislation to authorize the conveyance of the decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter STORIS for use as a privately-funded museum in Juneau. Begich was joined by Sen. Lisa Murkowski in co-sponsoring the legislation and Rep. Don Young is introducing a companion bill in the House of Representatives. "The Coast Guard's history in Alaska dates back to the ear… Continue Reading

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