Murkowski Keeps Top Republican Position on Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
Senator Also Retains Positions Crucial to Alaska on Defense, Commerce & Justice, Military Construction/Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski today announced that she is retaining her Ranking Member status on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee – where she will have a critical seat at the negotiating table to set the funding priorities for an enormous range of Alaskan-related policy areas. In her position of Ranking Member, she will work directly with both Senate and House Chairmen, as well as the Administration to craft each year’s final bill.
The Subcommittee holds responsibility for the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Senator’s position will allow her to guard against excessive federal overreach and regulations that hamper Alaska’s economy. (Complete list of Alaskan impacts below.) For example, in the Fiscal Year 2012 Interior Appropriation bill, Senator Murkowski successfully fought for the transfer of authority for granting government air permits for oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas from the EPA – which hadn’t completed the job in over five years – to the more efficient Department of the Interior.
(Senator Murkowski Announces Permitting Transfer, December 2011 – CLICK to watch)
“The Department of the Interior is critically important to Alaska, and my leadership position on this subcommittee means Alaskan voices will be heard on issues facing the 60 percent of Alaskan lands that are federally-owned, oversight of resource development projects, and jurisdiction over the Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs,” said Murkowski. “Alaskans know the value of seniority, and as Ranking Member I look forward to building on the positive work I’ve done for Alaska and the nation in the terms of land management, energy security and delivering on promises for our First People.”
Senator Murkowski also retains her seat on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which is particularly important to Alaska now that the state is no longer represented on the authorizing committee. The Senator will continue to work for Alaska and educate her colleagues on the strategic importance of Alaska as the Pentagon envisions an Asia-Pacific rim focus for our military.
The Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee position that Senator Murkowski will keep allows her to influence policy and direction for the Department of Commerce – and its fisheries oversight that impacts the multibillion dollar industry in Alaska – in addition to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and Attorney General’s Office.
Senator Murkowski will also keep her position on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security – which has jurisdiction over the Transportation Security Administration and the United States Coast Guard, two entities with an enormous role in Alaska.
Additionally, she will sit on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, able to address Alaska’s challenges in access to Veteran care as well as delivering resources that will keep Alaska’s military base facilities robust and responsive.
Interior Appropriations Subcommittee’s Jurisdiction Over Alaskan Priorities:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Bureau of Land Management
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Forest Service
- Geological Survey
- Indian Health Service
- National Park Service
- Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
- Outer Continental Shelf
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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