Murkowski Announces Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Assignments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is the new ranking Republican member on the Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee, a panel with jurisdiction over a number of federal agencies that play a major role in Alaska.

Senate Appropriations Committee members today learned their subcommittee assignments for the 112th Congress. As a senior member of that panel – Murkowski ranks seventh in seniority – Alaska’s senior senator was able to pick up a sixth subcommittee.

Besides the Interior panel, Murkowski was assigned to two new subcommittees, both of which have jurisdiction over large swaths of Alaska’s economy – Defense, and Energy and Water Development, which includes the Corps of Engineers.

Murkowski retained her membership on three other Appropriations subcommittees: Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; Homeland Security; and Commerce, Justice and Science. She gave up membership on the Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

The Interior-Environment Subcommittee has jurisdiction over a number of federal agencies important to Alaska, including the Bureau of Land Management, Environmental Protection Agency, Forest Service, Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“Nearly two thirds of Alaska’s land mass is owned or managed by federal land management agencies, so as the ranking member of the Interior-Environment Subcommittee, I will be fighting to ensure that the federal government upholds its commitment to maintain these lands for the benefit of all Alaskans,” Murkowski said. “Serving as the senior Republican on this subcommittee also will allow me to be able to continue to ensure that the federal government puts its financial resources behinds its trust responsibility to Alaska Natives and American Indians.”

Murkowski said that serving on both the Military Construction-Veterans and Defense Subcommittees will allow her to make sure that infrastructure needs are met at Alaska’s five major Army and Air Force bases and that programs such as the F-22s and C-17s at Elmendorf Air Force Base, air tankers and Red Flag at Eielson AFB, the Stryker Brigade at Fort Wainwright, the Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Fort Richardson, the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex and missile defense at Fort Greely are properly funded. The Military Construction-Veterans panel also puts Murkowski in a position to oversee the budget of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, an agency of critical importance to the 77,000 Alaska military veterans.

The Energy and Water Subcommittee will give Murkowski jurisdiction over such agencies as the Denali Commission and the Corps of Engineers, which oversees harbor and port projects, while the Homeland Security Subcommittee will give her funding responsibilities for the Coast Guard. Membership on the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee gives Murkowski oversight over such agencies as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Economic Development Agency, the National Weather Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, which regulates federal fisheries off of Alaska.