Murkowski Statement on President Trump’s Budget Request

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today responded to President Trump’s proposed budget outline for Fiscal Year 2018:

“This budget request is the first step in a long process through which Congress decides which programs to fund and how much funding those programs should receive. The President’s budget expresses his priorities, and we will consider them, but it is the congressional budget and appropriations committees that will establish our priorities and fund them over the coming months.

“The President’s willingness to reverse the previous administration’s decline in military readiness is welcome. The Fiscal Year 2018 defense budget will be extremely important to Alaska as we prepare to receive F-35s at Eielson, strengthen our missile defense, and push to enhance the readiness of the two Army combat brigades based in our state.

“While I support the President’s emphasis on a strong national defense, I cannot support many of the proposed cuts in this ‘skinny’ budget. Programs like Essential Air Service, Low Income Heating Assistance, and water and wastewater programs are critical to the health, welfare, and safety of Alaskans, especially those in our remote, rural communities. We need to remember that these programs are not the primary drivers of our debt, and to look at the full budget to find the best ways to reduce federal spending.

“Over the past several years we have already made significant progress streamlining agencies like the EPA while retaining funding for its core mission and functions—particularly basic infrastructure. I expect that to continue. And as an appropriator, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, the Administration, and Alaskans throughout the budget process.”