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.

10.02.15

Murkowski Bill Fixes Definition of “Indian” in Affordable Care Act

Senator Murkowski recently introduced legislation to clarify the meaning of "Indian" within the Affordable Care Act-ensuring that Alaska Natives aren't denied Indian-specific exemptions and protections under the law. The current definition of "Indian" within the ACA applies to only "members of federally-recognized tribes" or shareholders of an Alaska Native corporation-potentially excluding up to 20,000 Alaska Natives. Many young Alaska Natives are not shareholders in Alaska Native Claims Settle… Continue Reading


10.01.15

Murkowski Blasts Democrats for Blocking Debate of VA Funding Bill

Today Senator Murkowski implored her Senate colleagues to allow debate on the appropriations bill that funds veterans' health services and benefits, military housing and family support, and hospital and military construction. Ultimately, Senate Democrats blocked efforts to advance this bill, which failed to receive the 60 votes needed to proceed. Prior to the vote, Murkowski spoke on the Senate floor about the amendments she had hoped to attach to the bill, relating to the failures of the VA he… Continue Reading


09.30.15

Senate Clears Hurdle to Avoid Government Shutdown

Today Senator Murkowski shared her thoughts after voting for the continuing resolution (H.R. 719) that passed the Senate, 78-20: "Today I'm pleased that my Senate colleagues and I have passed a 10-week continuing resolution to fund the government through December 11. "I was troubled that a government shutdown was even being considered as an option, causing great economic hardship and further eroding the diminishing trust Alaskans and the American people have in Washington. It so important that… Continue Reading


09.29.15

Senators Cantwell and Murkowski Introduce Legislation to Protect Pacific Northwest Seafood

Today, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced bipartisan legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to change the market name of "Alaska pollock" to "pollock". The change aims to better distinguish the pollock harvested in Alaskan waters from Russian pollock passing itself off as "Alaskan pollock" in stores nationwide. This legislation is co-sponsored by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). In 2012, 113 million pounds of Ru… Continue Reading


09.28.15

Murkowski Comments on Shell’s Arctic Drilling Program

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski today released the following statement regarding Shell's decision to suspend operations in Alaska's offshore waters: "I am extremely disappointed by this decision, just as I have been deeply frustrated by the years-long path that led to it. "In the more than seven years that Shell has held leases in the Chukchi, it has only recently been allowed to complete a single well. What we have here is a case in which a company's commercial efforts could not overcome a burdensom… Continue Reading


09.24.15

Murkowski Reflects on Pope Francis’ Historic Visit

Today Senator Murkowski joined her Senate and House colleagues to listen to Pope Francis' historic address to the United States Congress. Senator Murkowski was among a select group of lawmakers who accompanied Pope Francis into the House Chamber prior to his speech. Murkowski shared her reflections on the Pope's message: "Pope Francis encouraged us to participate in dialogue, and I think that was an important message to leave with us. And something that I felt very strongly was his call for us … Continue Reading


09.22.15

Alaska Delegation Fights for Arctic Subsistence Rights

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young recently sent a letter (attached) to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe expressing serious concern over the agency's upcoming subsistence harvest quota limits. On January 1, 2016, FWS is planning to implement a quota on the subsistence harvest of polar bears from the Chukchi Sea population and intends to enforce this quota through criminal sanctions. "For thousands of years, Alaska Native subsistence hu… Continue Reading


09.21.15

Alaska Delegation Seeks Answers for Alaskans Affected by Knik Post Office Closure

Responding to the sudden, indefinite site closure of the Knik Contract Post Office located in Wasilla, AK, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young have requested clarification and answers from the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General David Williams (see attached letter). "It has come to our attention that the United States Postal Service (USPS) Knik Contract Postal Unit (CPU) #2, located in Wasilla, Alaska was abruptly closed without prior public notice on Frid… Continue Reading


09.18.15

Murkowski Combats Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski recently introduced S. 2060, the Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act, a bill to provide support for individuals and their families afflicted with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). This bill would reauthorize and extend the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome prevention and services program, which provides support programs for adolescents with FASD like vocational training and mental health services, and raises public awareness and education. Senator Murko… Continue Reading


09.17.15

Murkowski Praises Settlement of Contract Support Cost Case

Senator Lisa Murkowski released the following statement after the Obama administration reached a $940 million proposed settlement with Native American tribes, Alaska Natives, and tribal entities nationwide over the Department of the Interior's failure to cover the expenses incurred by tribally-run federal programs: "For over 30 years, the federal government continuously shortchanged tribes who provide federal Indian programs and critical health services throughout the nation, including in rural… Continue Reading


09.17.15

Alaska Senators Co-Sponsor Legislation to Repeal “Cadillac Tax”

Today, Alaska Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski joined Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in introducing S. 2045, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation will fully repeal tax provisions on high-cost insurance plans in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as the "Cadillac Tax". Beginning in 2018, the "Cadillac Tax" would tax employers whose health insurance plans cost more than $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,450 a y… Continue Reading


09.16.15

Alaska Land Conveyance Legislation Heads to President’s Desk

The U.S. House of Representatives today unanimously passed S. 230, legislation introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski to transfer 23 acres of federal lands in Bethel, AK to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) for the expansion and renovation of existing health programs and facilities. Senator Murkowski and Alaska Congressman Don Young, who sponsored and passed companion legislation out of committee in the House, both applauded the passage of the bill which they say will pave the way for… Continue Reading


09.11.15

Murkowski Statement on Remembrance of 9/11 Attacks

Today Senator Lisa Murkowski shared her thoughts on the 14th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America: "Like many Alaskans, I remember exactly where I was fourteen years ago on this day. I was in Anchorage, and at 5:30 in the morning, I woke up to a phone call from my mother, who told me: 'Turn on the TV, our country is under attack.' It gives me goosebumps to remember. My parents were in Washington, D.C. and my father was at the U.S. Capitol. I sat in our TV room in my paja… Continue Reading


09.10.15

Murkowski Speaks on Senate Floor Against Iran Nuclear Deal

Today Senator Murkowski voted to move forwards on a resolution to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal. Under the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress has the opportunity to prevent implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. Today Senate Democrats blocked a vote on the Iran nuclear deal, but the Senate will reconsider the resolution again next week. After the vote, Senator Murkowski took to the Senate floor to explain her opposition to the deal: "Thi… Continue Reading


09.10.15

Murkowski Supports Legislation to Restore Voting Rights Act

Senator Murkowski today announced that she is co-sponsoring S. 1659, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015, as the lead Republican on the bill. The legislation improves certain provisions of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965, which were determined to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013. Senator Murkowski explained her support for this legislation, saying: "The Voting Rights Act of 1965 brought an end to the ugly Jim Crow period in American history. It is fundam… Continue Reading


09.09.15

Sen. Murkowski Introduces Bill to Restore Alexander Creek’s ANCSA Village Status

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski today introduced legislation in the Senate that would settle the long-standing lands claims of the Alaska Native residents of Alexander Creek, Alaska. The legislation would amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) to recognize Alexander Creek as an Alaska Native village, allowing it to form a village corporation and receive either land or compensation as promised under the 1971 law. "The legislation I am introducing today would give the Secretary of t… Continue Reading


09.04.15

WWII Veteran Recalls Alaska’s Role in War

Senator Lisa Murkowski today is releasing her 25th Veteran Spotlight interview, focusing on the military service of WWII Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient Louis Fessler of Anchorage. Fessler began his military career in Alaska as a young man. He was working on the docks in Whittier as a rigger when he had to report for the draft in Cordova. During the war, Japanese forces invaded Attu and its neighbor Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. Fessler was part of the effort when U.S. troops retook bo… Continue Reading


08.31.15

Murkowski Delivers Welcoming Remarks at GLACIER Conference

Senator Lisa Murkowski tonight called on policymakers to listen to, respect, and advance the interests of the roughly four million people who live in the Arctic during her opening remarks at the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER). "As you gather for the GLACIER conference, I want to highlight one aspect of Arctic policy that I hope will be at the forefront of the discussion - the people who live in the region, and their … Continue Reading


08.30.15

Murkowski Welcomes Official Recognition of Denali

Senator Lisa Murkowski today welcomed President Obama's recognition of Denali as the name of North America's tallest peak. Denali, meaning "the great one" or "the high one," is the ancestral name given to the mountain by Alaska's Koyukon Athabascans. While on Denali's Ruth Glacier, Senator Murkowski responded to the administration's decision to restore the mountain's traditional name, saying: "For centuries, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as the 'Great One.' Today we are honored t… Continue Reading


08.28.15

Senator Murkowski Commends Move to Block WOTUS Rule

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski today applauded the preliminary injunction put in place to block the Obama administration's controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, just hours before it was due to take effect. Federal Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota found that 13 states, including the State of Alaska, suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction. "The ruling by a circuit court judge against the EPA's 'Waters of the United States' rule is a welc… Continue Reading

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