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Begich Continues to Gain Clout in Senate, Receives New Chairmanship

Holds Key Chairmanships on Two Critical Committees,
Reinforces Commitment to Cut Federal Spending

Continuing to earn seniority in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Mark Begich today was appointed both chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Intergovernmental Affairs and reconfirmed as chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, and the Coast Guard.

As chairman of two subcommittees, Begich will have substantial and unique authority to oversee critical Alaska issues such as fisheries, coastal management, the Coast Guard, emergency management and disaster relief. 

“These key leadership positions will allow me to do even more to ensure that Alaska’s unique needs such as protecting our fisheries, cleaning up marine debris, or responding to disasters like the recent flooding are addressed by the federal government,” Begich said. “It is a privilege to serve in leadership positions that directly benefit our state, but I am also eager to use these posts to crack down on wasteful government spending and rein in the federal deficit.”

Begich has been an effective leader as chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries where he has been vocal in calling for a stronger Coast Guard presence in Alaska, increased ice-breaking capacity, and spearheading the fight against genetically modified (GE) salmon. Begich will continue to take up these issues and push for greater involvement on U.S. Arctic issues, including science, health, and the need for an Arctic Ambassador in the 113th Congress.

Begich also announced just yesterday that he was appointed to five key subcommittee slots on the powerful Senate Appropriations Subcommittee where he will focus on Alaska issues including military construction, oil and gas development, international trade and the Coast Guard.

As chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Intergovernmental Affairs, Begich will work alongside Ranking Member Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to oversee:

  • Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) including preparation, response, mitigation, and recovery from disasters;
  • Post-disaster relief funds; 
  • The relationship between the Department of Homeland Security and states, localities, and first responders in preventing and responding to disasters and terrorism;
  • Financial assistance programs related to resilience, disaster prevention, relief and mitigation.

The Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Intergovernmental Affairs is a subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, and the Coast Guard is a subcommittee of the Commerce Committee.

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