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.

06.16.15

Murkowski’s Interior Chairmanship Improves Wildfire Protections, Challenges Federal Overreach, Honors Trust Responsibilities, Promotes Resource Development and Access, Prioritizes the Arctic

Senator Lisa Murkowski today released the 2016 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for consideration by the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. The Subcommittee approved the bill, which will be considered by the full Appropriations Committee on Thursday. The bill, the first of its kind in six years, covers a broad range of issues and initiatives of critical importance to Alaska including substantial funding for wildfire protections, blocking the EPA's controversial … Continue Reading


06.16.15

Murkowski’s Interior Work Boosts Alaska Wildfire Prevention, Suppression

Senator Lisa Murkowski today released the 2016 Interior spending bill that reins in federal overreach at agencies like the EPA, promotes responsible public lands management and contains several provisions that directly address Alaska's needs. As Chairman of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Murkowski leveraged her position on the subcommittee to improve the capabilities and capacity for the nation's wildland firefighters. "Wildfires consistently pose … Continue Reading


06.16.15

Murkowski Assures Native Care Funding, Alaska Native Care Jobs, Rural Justice Through Interior Spending Bill

Senator Lisa Murkowski today utilized her position as Chairman on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to ensure that Alaska's Native health care providers will have fully funded contract support costs for the second year in a row. The forward-looking bill also separates the resources relied upon for contract support costs (CSCs) from other programs to avoid the prospect of funds being redistributed to other agencies. Murkowski also redesigned how funding … Continue Reading


06.16.15

Murkowski Fights to Transfer King Cove Road Land to State of Alaska in Interior Bill

Senator Lisa Murkowski today continued her efforts to protect the health and safety of the people of King Cove, Alaska by advancing a land transfer needed to provide local residents with reliable access to medical care in emergency situations. The legislation, drafted by Murkowski and approved today by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, would direct an equal-value land transfer to allow the construction of a short, one-lane, non-commercial use… Continue Reading


06.16.15

Murkowski Blocks “Waters of the U.S.” Rule Through Interior Bill

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, today utilized that position to block the Environmental Protection Agency's "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule for the next fiscal year in legislation approved by the Subcommittee. The WOTUS rule, formally announced in May, greatly expands the amount of area in Alaska that will require federal permits for development. The rule includes provisions that give EPA control over ar… Continue Reading


06.12.15

Murkowski: Defense Budget Backs Alaska’s Military Equipment, Infrastructure and Agenda

Senator Lisa Murkowski voted in the full Senate Appropriations Committee for the 2016 Defense Appropriations Bill, which contains several Alaska priorities she added and gathered support for. As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee - which passed this bill earlier this week - Murkowski used her position there to raise the profile of Alaska's military concerns, given the state's rising significance in light of threats to the west and growing Arctic activity. "Alaska's military f… Continue Reading


06.11.15

Murkowski Leverages Appropriations Seat to Boost Law Enforcement and Justice System in Alaska

One day after Senator Murkowski decried public safety conditions in rural Alaska, the Senate Appropriations Committee finalized its 2016 Justice Department funding bill, which includes strong funding to support justice services and law enforcement in Alaska as requested by Senator Lisa Murkowski. "Alaska faces unique law enforcement challenges, and though we've come up with innovative solutions to make progress, we still have a long way to go. The rates of crime, domestic violence, sexual assau… Continue Reading


06.11.15

Murkowski Fights Proposed Cuts to Military Commissaries, Backs Successful Effort to Protect Support

Senator Lisa Murkowski today strongly opposed the Obama administration's proposed $320 million cuts to military commissaries, as the Senate Appropriations Committee debated the 2016 Defense Appropriations bill. Murkowski spoke in support of an amendment that would restore the government support for commissaries and avoid the prospect of reducing store hours. The amendment passed unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Prior to the committee vote of the amendment, Senator Murkowski… Continue Reading


06.10.15

Subcommittee Advances Chairman Murkowski’s Efforts to Restore Denali Name, Honor Governor Jay Hammond

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks today received testimony on two bills authored and introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski, chairman of the full committee. The first, S. 319 would officially designate North America's highest peak by its traditional Alaska Native name, Denali, meaning "high one." Alaskans already refer to Mount McKinley as Denali and the state of Alaska changed the name of the mountain in 1975, but the U.S. Board on Geographic Names continues… Continue Reading


06.10.15

Murkowski’s Appropriations Work Makes Alaska Waters Safer, Fisheries More Sustainable

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) finalized its 2016 funding bill today, incorporating several policies and provisions at the urging of Senator Lisa Murkowski. The CJS bill successfully passed out of the subcommittee earlier today and will head to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for more consideration tomorrow. "Alaska's waters are our farms, and we've got to keep them safe for mariners and fishermen, but also prioritize funding the researc… Continue Reading


06.09.15

Murkowski Efforts Bring VA Officials to Alaska on Care Concerns

Due to Senator Lisa Murkowski's recent intervention, senior officials from the Veterans Health Administration and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs in Washington, D.C. are currently in Alaska to determine whether existing Alaska VA healthcare delivery partnerships in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and rural Alaska must change due to last year's passage of the Veterans Access and Choice Accountability Act of 2014. In recent years, the Alaska VA healthcare system… Continue Reading


06.08.15

Murkowski Proposing Alaska-Focused Additions to Defense Bill

As the U.S. Senate considers the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Senator Lisa Murkowski is filing amendments that would address Alaska's military community and economic concerns, as well as pursue the nation's Arctic agenda. "Alaska's military community is a valuable member of our family. Its reach and impact touches nearly every corner of the state and will be a major contributor to the nation's Arctic future," said Murkowski. "The NDAA provides a valuable opportunity to strengthe… Continue Reading


06.04.15

AK Delegation: Fort Wainwright Soon Welcoming Gray Eagle “Sky Warriors”

Alaska's Congressional Delegation received good news today from the United States Army, that Fort Wainwright will be the home base for nine "Gray Eagle" Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles. This announcement solidifies the Department of Defense's investment of manpower and infrastructure in Alaska, the "most strategic location in the world." The Gray Eagle Company will bring 128 military personnel and their families to Interior Alaska beginning next month, and represents a major addition of military … Continue Reading


06.04.15

Murkowski Introduces Legislation to Curb Obesity and Cut Long-Term Health Care Costs

Senator Lisa Murkowski joined five of her Senate colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Treat and Reduce Obesity Act that would help prevent chronic diseases and lower health care costs by addressing America's growing obesity epidemic. This legislation gives Medicare beneficiaries and their healthcare providers additional tools to reduce obesity by improving access to weight-loss counseling and new prescription drugs for chronic weight management, among other provisions. "Obesity increased la… Continue Reading


06.02.15

Murkowski Votes for USA Freedom Act to End Overreaching NSA Surveillance Tactics

Senator Lisa Murkowski today voted for the bipartisan USA Freedom Act that she co-sponsored that will restore many effective, responsible national security procedures that expired on Monday, but end the controversial bulk collection of Americans' phone records without probable cause. The bill also requires greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. The bill passed the Senate 67-32, and Murkowski shared her reasoning afterwards: "Tod… Continue Reading


06.02.15

Murkowski Bill to Stand Up for Native Youth Passes Senate Unanimously

The United States Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) to create a Commission on Native American Children that would efficiently combine and coordinate the federal government's resources and expertise to best address the complicated threats and challenges facing Alaska Natives, Native Americans and Native Hawaiians. The Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children will create a Commission… Continue Reading


06.02.15

Murkowski Co-Sponsors Bill to Crack Down on Distracted Driving

Senator Lisa Murkowski is introducing the bipartisan Improving Driver Safety Act to crack down on distracted driving on Alaska's roadways and nationwide, by making millions in existing federal funds available to the state's efforts to address this safety risk. The bill, also co-sponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Hoeven (R-ND) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) would ensure that states can access the nearly $16 million in government education and enforcement funds that went unused last year. … Continue Reading


06.02.15

Sen. Murkowski: Drought Conditions Devastating to Farmers, Local Communities and Economies

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today convened a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to examine drought conditions affecting the West, review creative ways states and local communities are working to address the issue, as well as examine potential solutions for the future. "Today's hearing made clear that while drought is a region-wide problem, there is a significant role Congress can play in addressing a number of the barriers - regulatory and otherwise - to improv… Continue Reading


06.02.15

Murkowski Urges Federal Action on Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Danger in Alaska

Senator Lisa Murkowski joined 21 members of Congress in reaching out to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), seeking answers and follow through from the federal government to address the national concern of abandoned and derelict vessels. Scattered in many coastal or riverfront locations across Alaska, these ships pose serious navigational challenges by obstructing boat traffic flow and creating potential environmental risks if remaining fuel on board were to leak into the water. In rur… Continue Reading


06.01.15

Murkowski Responds to Health Insurance Rate Spikes for 2016

Senator Lisa Murkowski today responded to Premera's formalized plan to raise premium rates 38.7% on average in 2016, and MODA's 25% average increase: "From the time the 'Affordable Care Act' passed the Senate on a party line vote and Nancy Pelosi said 'We have to pass it to see what's in it' as she pushed the bill through the House, I have been against the bill for one simple reason: math. The numbers would never pencil out for rural states like Alaska. "Last year, we saw premiums increase dr… Continue Reading

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