Press Releases

Media Requests: Members of the media can contact the press office by emailing or by calling 206-302-8317 and asking for the press office.


Murkowski Presses Commerce Secretary For Fishery Protections

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today highlighted the importance of Alaska's fisheries in a series of questions with Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke at a Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee hearing of the Appropriations Committee. "Over half of the fish harvested in the United States comes from sustainably-managed Alaskan fisheries - yet we receive a disproportionate share of the overall funding," Murkowski said. "We have the best fisheries science and management in th… Continue Reading


Murkowski Votes In Favor Of 2011 Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Senator Lisa Murkowski today voted in favor of the 2011 federal budget - featuring the largest cuts in American history - while criticizing the vote's delay. "Here we are, halfway through the fiscal year without having come to an agreement on spending levels," said Murkowski. "There are entire public sectors whose hirings have been put on hold because of the fiscal uncertainty, like Forest Service workers to fight wildfires this upcoming summer." "Alaskans have underst… Continue Reading


Murkowski: President Obama’s Budget Address Will “Lose America”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski today responded to President Barack Obama's address intended to address the nation's spending and long-term debt. "The President's debt commission submitted its report in December. Representative Ryan released his plan last week. I'm glad that President Obama has joined the conversation about America's economic future, but his timing makes me question his motivation," said Murkowski. "If we're going to tackle the problem, we need to be working… Continue Reading


Murkowski: Alaska’s Offshore Resources Promise Energy, Jobs, Revenue for Nation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today stressed the importance of the timely review of permits by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in testimony before the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Murkowski, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, explained that exploration and development in Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf has been held up for years because of the EPA's inability to grant air pe… Continue Reading



WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski today applauded the inclusion of language in the continuing budget resolution that would block implementation of a controversial order by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to designate new "wild lands" without required congressional approval. "Congress has sole authority to create new wilderness areas. Any attempt to try an end run around Congress will get a predictable response," said Murkowski - who serves as the ranking Republican on the Senat… Continue Reading


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

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