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Murkowski on Fishery Disaster Funding: “I Intend to Push Until the Relief is Provided”

Senator Speaks on Senate Floor About Unaddressed Alaskan “Fish Droughts”

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski today cast her vote to deliver $50.5 billion in federal funds to hurricane-struck Atlantic coast communities buffeted by Hurricane Sandy last year, which passed 62-36.  After the vote concluded, Senator Murkowski was joined by a number of her Senate colleagues on the Senate floor expressing frustration that fishery disasters in Alaska and other states were not included in the disaster relief bill.

In Senator Murkowski’s first set of remarks (clip one), she explained to her colleagues how the dynamics of a fishery disaster are no different from other natural disasters afflicting the Lower 48 and stressed that Alaskan are not asking for any special treatment, saying “I think we all recognize that this was not the only disaster this nation faced last year.” Drawing a comparison more familiar to her fellow Senators, she said that fishery disasters are like “fish droughts in our rivers and our oceans.”

After her colleagues pledged their cooperation and added stories of their own fishery failures, Senator Murkowski added (clip two) that she will advocate in Congress for the federally-authorized relief funds to be directed to Alaska. “We have gone through the process.  We’ve jumped the hurdles to get the designation that is required by our government by the Secretary of Commerce.  We have done that.  Now the step is for Congress to provide the funding that makes the difference. It’s one thing to get a disaster declaration on paper, it’s another thing to provide the relief. I certainly intend to push until the relief is provided – not only for the families in Alaska, but for those who have been impacted by fisheries disasters throughout the country.”

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