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Begich Fights for Alaska Infrastructure and Economic Development in Appropriations Bills

Makes Cuts to Non-Essential Program, Saves Taxpayer Dollars

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today successfully gained support for key Alaska projects that will strengthen the state’s ports and harbors, decrease the high cost of energy for tribes, keep Essential Air Service strong in rural areas, and provide housing for homeless Alaska Native veterans.

In addition to fighting for key Alaska investments, Begich continued to use his seat on the Appropriations committee to reduce federal spending by making significant cuts to non-essential programs or programs over-budget and behind schedule, such as the National Nuclear Security Agency’s proposed electricity hub.

Sen. Begich worked to include multiple Alaska provisions during a markup of two bills, the Energy and Water Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2014 and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2014, by the full Senate Appropriations Committee. 

“These bills are absolutely essential to keep Alaska’s economy strong. They include important resources for both our ports and harbors as well as support for rural communities and tribes.  As part of my efforts on the Appropriations Committee to control federal spending, I’m glad we also made some tough cuts to save taxpayers money and reduce the deficit.”

At the request of Sen. Begich, the two bills include multiple Alaska provisions including:

·                     $19.683 million for Alaska for harbor, tunnel and other infrastructure projects in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Dillingham, Homer, Seward, Ninilchik and Nome

·                     $10 million for the Denali Commission

·                     $440 million for Alaska federal highways

Aviation Investments:

To avoid delays and congestion, Sen. Begich secured provisions to help modernize the Next Gen Program, Alaska Flight Services Facilities and to fully fund the Alaskan Satellite Telecommunications Infrastructure Program.  He also secured resources for the Essential Air Service Program and the Small Community Air Service Development Program.

Other important investments include:

·                     $2.506 million for the Office of Indian Energy Programs and Policies

·                     $30 million for Small, Remote and Subsistence Harbors

·                     $2.506 million for the Office of Indian Energy Programs and Policies

·                     $10 million in Assistance to Small Shipyards

Begich also helped secure key resources for Alaska Native and Alaska Native veterans, including $675 million for housing vouchers for individuals living on tribal lands in Indian country, $3.15 billion in community development block grants, and $70 million in Indian community development block grants.

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