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Begich Lands Key Subcommittee Slots on Powerful Appropriations Committee

Will Push for Resource Development, Military Construction, Government Accountability          

Today, Senator Mark Begich was selected to serve on key subcommittees on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. As a result, key Alaska issues from military construction and oil and gas development to international trade and the Coast Guard will get increased attention from the delegation. In addition to fighting for Alaska priorities, Begich will use these key posts to scrutinize federal agency budgets and identify responsible spending cuts to restore fiscal discipline to the federal spending process.

“After just four years in the Senate, I was honored to secure a position on the powerful Appropriations Committee,” Begich said. “I look forward to using my post on these key subcommittees to fight for Alaska, to push for responsible development of our resources, and to identify responsible spending cuts.”

Begich landed a position on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, which oversees all Defense Department construction, including military housing, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Begich plans to use the position to continue his full-court press on the Pentagon to protect the mission and airmen and their families at Eielson Air Force Base. Coupled with his position on the Veterans Affairs Committee, Begich will continue to fight for the services and benefits that Alaska’s 77,000 veterans deserve.

The Senator also secured a position on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee with its broad jurisdiction over the Department of Interior and activities such as oil and gas development, timber harvesting, Alaska Native issues and the Environmental Protection Agency, which permits many Alaska development projects. Begich has successfully pushed the Obama administration to green light oil development in Alaska’s outer continental shelf and he’ll continue to fight for responsible development on the subcommittee.

On the Homeland Security Subcommittee, Begich will help oversee emergency management, Coast Guard, immigration and Transportation Security. Coupled with his position on the full Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Begich has broad influence over federal employment issues, accountability and state and local preparedness.

Begich was also named to the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee where he will be able to expand on his work related to Arctic issues and the major role they play in our nation’s foreign policy. The subcommittee also oversees the State Department and numerous international programs including the Export-Import Bank that works to stimulate the export of American-made products abroad. Alaska’s economy is highly dependent on international trade, so the senator will use his position to advance sales of Alaska’s products abroad, such as seafood.

Finally Begich was named to the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, which oversees funding for numerous agencies of Congress, including the Library of Congress, Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office. He will work to ensure that taxpayer dollars used to operate the U.S. Capitol Complex are not wasted.

“Having two senators from the same state and of different political parties on the Appropriations Committee is rare and will pay enormous dividends for our state,” Begich said. “I look forward to working with Senator Murkowski and double-teaming the issues to deliver for Alaska.”

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