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News from Senator Begich; April 8, 2013: Begich Keeps Focus on Fiscal Discipline, Takes Voluntary Pay Cut, Furloughs Staff

Begich Keeps Focus on Fiscal Discipline, Takes Voluntary Pay Cut, Furloughs Staff

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New Covenant House Tour - Sen. Begich toured Covenant House's new Youth Engagement Center with Greg Kramer, Carlette Mack, and executive director Alison Kear while he was home in Alaska last week.


As Congress returns to Washington, D.C., after some time at home, I hope my colleagues are ready to get to work. With the President set to release his budget this week, I will continue to push for smart, responsible cuts to federal spending to help our economic recovery and create jobs for Alaskans.

When it comes to getting federal spending under control, neither members of Congress nor their staff should be immune. That is why I have taken immediate steps to trim my own office budget and begun furloughing my staff as a result of automatic budget cuts. I will also take a voluntary pay cut, returning a portion of my salary to the Treasury. To date, I have cut my office budget by nearly $1 million over the past four years. These actions aren't enough to solve our spending problem on their own, but I hope it is a reminder to Alaskans that I am willing to make the tough cuts to get our spending under control.

Sincerely,
Digital Signature
Senator Mark Begich

Begich Notes Broad Concern for Increased Maritime Traffic

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, held a recent field hearing in Anchorage where representatives from the Coast Guard, Shell Alaska, and Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) testified about maritime activity and development in the Arctic. "Reviewing Shell's maritime activities and the government's oversight of these operations is the next logical step in responsible development and preparation for increased Arctic activities," Begich said. "There are always lessons to be learned and as chairman of the Oceans subcommittee, I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that the U.S. is ready to fully take advantage of opportunities–from increased shipping to development and revenue sharing–in an evolving Arctic."

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CAN-struction - Sen. Begich toured the Food Bank of Alaska's CANstruction last week where teams of architects, engineers, construction professionals and students built structures entirely out of canned food.

Bringing the Senate to Alaska - As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere and the Coast Guard, Begich brought representatives from the Coast Guard, Shell Alaska, Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) and others to testify at a field hearing in Anchorage about maritime activity and development in the Arctic.

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Begich Weighs In on Latest Posturing from North Korea, Calls for Greater Missile Defense

"The latest dangerous threats from North Korea further illustrate the importance of Alaska's missile defense system," Sen. Begich said. "If these words turn out to be more than just chest-thumping, Alaska's 49th Missile Battalion at Fort Greely stand ready with the resources they need defend us." Earlier this month Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced his decision to invest in Alaska's strategic geographic location and deploy more ground-based missile interceptors in response to North Korea's recent provocations. The announcement came shortly after Begich requested additional resources to support missile defense in Alaska in this year's budget.

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Begich hosts African Community Town Hall - During a recent trip home to Alaska, Sen. Begich hosted an African Community Town Hall at Safari Restaurant.

Chatting with Alaska Native Students – Sen. Begich met with University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) students over coffee to discuss issues important to them including Native language revitalization, renewable energy, and Begich's Safe Families and Villages Act.

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Begich Named to China Exchange Group to Advance U.S.-China Trade

With plans to expand Alaska exports to China even further, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has been named chair of the U.S.-China Inter-Parliamentary Group, a bipartisan Senate organization designed to enhance relations between the U.S. and China. As chair for the next two years, Begich's top priority will be advancing trade between the two nations. China recently overcame Japan as Alaska's top export purchaser, buying $1.3 billion worth of Alaska seafood, minerals, forest products and fishmeal last year.


Sincerely,
Digital Signature
Senator Mark Begich

 

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