After months of unnecessary partisan posturing, I am proud to announce that the Senate has made important progress on critical issues like protecting homeowners against steep flood insurance hikes and passing the long-delayed Farm Bill.
And just last month, the Senate passed the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act to fund key federal programs and projects and create thousands of jobs across the nation. Even as I fight to reduce the deficit and cut waste from federal spending, I am also using my position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to ensure Alaska's priorities are protected and that we receive our fair share of federal investment dollars.
I am pleased to protect Alaska's priorities such as salmon recovery and marine debris removal, mental health services, harbors and infrastructure around the state, contract support costs for tribal health services and rural projects like improvement to water and wastewater systems.
Last week, the Senate approved a national flood insurance bill which provides Alaskans welcome relief from the steep increases in flood insurance costs that have threatened to push some homeowners out of their homes. I fought these steep increases because we must protect Alaska residents in coastal and flood-prone communities from the devastating financial impact of these cost increases.
Looking forward, the Senate is scheduled to slash wasteful subsidies, save taxpayers billions of dollars, and prevent the federal government from pushing new, unnecessary regulations onto Alaska when we take up the Farm Bill. I was able to include many Alaska priorities in this measure, including one that recognizes the nutritional and cultural value of Alaska Native subsistence traditions.
I was also able to make a quick trip home over the weekend, with stops in Fairbanks and Anchorage to meet with volunteer fire-fighters, Wal-Mart employees, and speak to several conferences including a statewide Subsistence Summit organized by the Alaska Federation of Natives.
Senator Mark Begich