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Getting Answers, Relief on Tsunami Debris - Murkowski Morning Meeting, 4/11/2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

U.S. Senate Events 

Getting Answers, Relief on Tsunami Debris

Alaskan Impact: With 33,000 miles of coastline, Alaskans have a large interest in what happens in our surrounding waters.  Today, Senator Murkowski pressed Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on the many issues surrounding NOAA’s North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program, the National Ocean Policy Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning, and continued efforts to address Japanese tsunami marine debris anticipated to come ashore in future years.

6:00am AKDT

Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing

Topic: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "The Department of Commerce's FY2014 Budget Request."

Testimony From:

  • Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank

(Click image to watch video)

Senator Murkowski pressed Secretary Blank for answers on tsunami debris relief.

Future of the Air Force in Alaska

Alaskan Impact: Alaska is the “tip of the spear” for our nation’s defense against an increasingly aggressive North Korea.  Despite the strategic location of Alaska’s military installations, this week the Air Force announced it was grounding fighter jets across the country, including the F-16 Aggressor Squadron at Eielson AFB until the end of the fiscal year.  Today, Air Force officials discussed the rest of their 2014 budget before the Senate.

5:30am AKDT

Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing 

Topic: Full committee hearing on the Department of the Air Force in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2014 and the Future Years Defense Program.

Testimony From:

  • Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley
  • Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh III

Watch the entire hearing online: www.armed-services.senate.gov

Today’s Senate Vote:

Gun Legislation

Earlier today, Senator Murkowski cast a vote against proceeding to floor debate on gun legislation for a simple reason: the base bill is unacceptable to Alaskans, and many amendments that could improve the bill (like the Manchin-Toomey proposal) haven’t been introduced yet – and may or may not exist.  She explained her reasoning to Alaskans:

“More than most states, Alaskans are protective of our 2nd Amendment rights and we guard them as we guard our property and loved ones.  Today we voted to proceed to consider a bill unacceptable to Alaskans based solely on the promise that it will be improved upon by proposals that haven’t been fully introduced for public evaluation.  Alaskans and Americans have seen what happens when Congress votes on things so we can find out what’s in them later, and they don’t like it.

“With today’s vote, it’s my hope that we will consider effective, straightforward and honest ways to reduce violence by improving our mental health care system, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, and enforcing existing laws. I hope the path improves from this point forward.”

U.S. House Events

Screening the TSA

Alaskan Impact:  Alaskans depend heavily upon air travel, and they depend on that travel to be safe.  But, the “one size fits all” approach of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) often doesn’t work for the Last Frontier.  Senator Murkowski fought for, and won common sense exceptions for Alaskan travelers – like kuspuks. Today, the House examines other possible TSA policy changes.

9:00am AKDT

House Homeland Security Committee Hearing

Topic: Transportation Security Subcommittee hearing on "TSA's Efforts to Advance Risk-Based Security: Stakeholder Perspectives."

Testimony from:

  • Ken Dunlap, International Air Transport Association
  • Sharon Pinkerton, Senior Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Policy for Airlines for America
  • Geoff Freeman, COO & Executive Vice President of the U.S. Travel Association

Watch the entire hearing online: homeland.house.gov

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