U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski spent the last Wednesday of March visiting the Kenai Peninsula, talking with youth and addressing a joint Kenai/Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Not denying that D.C. is in a stew right now, she went on to list some accomplishments made in education, infrastructure and energy. “We have made progress as a congress at a time when people didn’t anticipate that progress could be made,” she said. When asked in an interview what specifically she had done in representing the conservative Alaskan voter, she replied, “The work I do for the conservative Alaskan voter, all voters and actually for all Alaskans is really about working to empower Alaskans. To allow us the opportunity to be successful, the opportunity to create economic wealth, the opportunity to be unfettered whether it be from regulation or onerous taxes the opportunity to access our lands to push back against a government that often times seems to be just throttling us and throttling our potential. So whether we’re targeting conservative Alaskans or Alaskans in general who seek to be independent and empowered to access our resources and land for the benefit of all Alaskans and our families, this is what I’m fighting for in Washington D.C. what I’m doing every day to help Alaskans be empowered,” said Murkowski.
Switching to issues where the rubber meets the road Murkowski said, “We haven’t seen a multi-year highway bill in a decade and that makes it difficult to plan, that makes it difficult for the state to anticipate the federal dollars that come their way, so we were able to advance through a republican led congress a six year highway bill that gives us the level of certainty for those federal dollars that come our state’s way that working with our State Department of Transportation allow for a path forward for our transportation projects. So certainty at a time when of great uncertainty at the state level is important to Alaska. That’s we are trying to do at a federal level to give the State of Alaska a bit of certainty as to what they can anticipate from the federal government.” Sen. Murkowski doesn’t serve on the committee of jurisdiction that had oversight of the highway bill, but Sen. Sullivan serves on the Senate Committee of Commerce and Congressman Young played a role on the Transportation Committee in the House. Sen. Murkowski is the chair of the Energy Committee, “Because there was an energy component in the transportation bill it was my seat on the conference committee that allowed me to guide the provisions that Sen. Sullivan and congressman Young had incorporated at the committee level, neither of whom was able to be part of the conference committee. So between the three of us and my seniority on the Senate side we able to insure that Alaska’s needs when it came to transportation funding were met,” she explained.