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, Gates Highlight Importance of Energy Innovation

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today convened a meeting with Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, philanthropist, and investor, to discuss the importance of energy innovation. The two were joined by Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski meets with Mr. Bill Gates "Mr. Gates has both the stature and the vision to explain why energy innovation must be more of a na… Continue Reading


Murkowski Brings Together Alaskans to Address Harmful Impacts of Marine Debris

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus, hosted a Marine Debris Briefing to highlight Alaska's growing challenges when it comes to the massive amount of debris washing up on Alaska's shores. The Senator brought experts on the issue together, including Alaskan panelists, to find solutions to this threat to Alaskans' environment and livelihoods. "Marine debris is an ever increasing issue in our state, from land-based runoff, shipping waste, boating debris, and the 2011 J… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Legislation to Combat Pirate Fishing

The Senate last night unanimously passed the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015. In May, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced legislation to combat the multi-billion dollar threat posed by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. The legislation is the House companion to the Senate bill, which passed the House of Representatives in July. The bill now heads to the President's desk to be signe… Continue Reading


Alaska Delegation Continues to Promote Strategic Buildup of Interior Alaska

The Alaska Congressional Delegation today welcomed news from the Missile Defense Agency that they have awarded a $784,289,883 contract to Lockheed Martin to build the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR). The contract specifies that the work is to be done at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska as well as Lockheed Martin's facility in New Jersey. The LRDR is a critical MDA project which will substantially improve our nation's Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) capabilities. The LRDR will provide … Continue Reading


Murkowski Praises Approval of Major Native Employment and Training Bill by Senate Indian Affairs Committee

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski applauded her colleagues on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for unanimously passing her legislation to strengthen and reform Public Law 102-477 (also known as the 477 program), a comprehensive Native employment and training program. The bill, which she introduced with Senator Dan Sullivan last May, surmounts bureaucratic obstacles to effective implementation of the program. The 477 program is unique because it allows tribes to pool money from different fe… Continue Reading


Murkowski Condemns UAF Negligence in Sexual Assault Cases

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski reacted to the University of Alaska Fairbanks' announcement that it failed to follow the U.S. Department of Education's (USED) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Title IX guidance in how to handle sexual assault allegations. "The failure of UAF to follow the federal guidelines regarding allegations of sexual assault has risked students' security and undermined students' confidence that very serious accusations will be addressed as they have a right to expect. I am gr… Continue Reading


Murkowski Commends Approval of Alaska Railroad to Transport LNG

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski responded to the news that the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) became the first railroad in the nation permitted to transport liquefied natural gas by rail, saying: "I am pleased the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently approved the Alaska Railroad's request to move liquefied natural gas via rail to Fairbanks. The Interior of Alaska is in need of an affordable energy source and natural… Continue Reading


Murkowski: Interior Attempting to Shut Down Arctic Development for Decades

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski today issued the following statement after the Department of the Interior announced its rejection of Shell Alaska's request to extend its leases off of Alaska's northern coast and the cancellation of future leases in the region. "This is a stunning, short-sighted move that betrays the Interior Department's commitments to Alaska and the best interests of our nation's long-term energy security. Today's decision is the latest in a destructive pattern of hostility toward en… Continue Reading


Murkowski Praises Court Decision to Delay Implementation of WOTUS

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski today released the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay against the enforcement of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule: "Today's decision to put a national hold on the controversial WOTUS rule is further good news for opponents of the EPA's culture of overreach. I've been fighting to reign in the EPA and the harmful impacts the WOTUS rule could have on alm… Continue Reading


Another Fix to the Affordable Care Act Signed into Law

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski released the following statement on the President signing the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act into law. Senator Murkowski is a co-sponsor of the bill, which halts a change of what is considered "small employer" within the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Currently, a "small employer" is defined having less than 50 employees. However, a provision in the law was set to redefine a small employer as having up to 100 employees, beginning on Januar… Continue Reading


Senate Energy Panel Considers Legislation Promoting Alaska Native Land Ownership

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski today heard testimony on legislation designed to rectify an injustice done to the Alaska Native residents of five Southeast communities 44 years ago. (Click image to watch video.) Thursday's hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining considered a number of public lands bills, including Murkowski's Unrecognized Southeast Alaska Native Communities Recognition and Compensation Act, S. 872. The bill would p… Continue Reading


Senate Energy Committee Considers Two Bills Promoting Hydropower in Alaska

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski held a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on legislation to expand the generation of affordable energy from renewable hydropower in Alaska. "Hydropower is a major part of meeting our energy needs in an affordable, reliable and clean way. That is true nationally and it is certainly true in Alaska," said Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "Hydropower supplies 24 percent of Alaska's electricity n… Continue Reading


Murkowski Supports Final Passage of Defense Authorization Measure: A Victory for Servicemembers and Military Families

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski cast her vote in support of the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), protecting our homeland and supporting our troops and their families. The bill passed in a vote of 70-27, however, President Obama has threatened to veto the bill. "This defense bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress considers every year. And if the President signs it into law, this will be the 54th consecutive year that Congress and the a… Continue Reading


Murkowski and Cantwell Introduce Volcano Monitoring Bill

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize and improve the nation's volcano monitoring and early warning capabilities. The National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring Program Act (S. 2056) establishes a National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System, which includes the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) and the Cascadia Volcano Observatory, to monitor, warn, and protect citizens from undue and avoidable harm from volcanic … Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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

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