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Murkowski Morning Meeting, 5/22/2013

U.S. Senate Events 

Alaskans Feeling like “Groundhog Day” With Forest Service Frustrations

Alaskan Impact:  The United States Forest Service manages 22 million acres in Alaska, most of them located in Southeast.  But a recent move to have some SE communities give back secure rural school funds they need because of sequestration had Senator Murkowski saying it was “adding insult to injury” because the communities rely on them for schools and roads.  This most recent move has Alaskans feeling like it’s the movie “Groundhog Day,” she said, with the federal government going back on its obligations yet again.

5:30am AKDT

Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing

Topic: Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on FY2014 for the U.S. Forest Service.

Testimony From:

  • U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell
  • Acting Forest Service Budget Director Barbara Cooper

Murkowski: Alaska has “Groundhog Day” syndrome when it comes to the Forest Service. Click to Watch

U.S. House Events 

Keeping America’s Promise to Veterans

Alaskan Impact:  Alaska has the highest rate of veterans-per-capita in the nation, and the backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs hits our state hard. 800,000 military veterans nationwide await the benefits they have earned.  Senator Murkowski last month demanded a fix from the VA for the backlog, citing that Alaskan veterans wait an average of 467 days for their benefits, longer than other veterans across the nation.  Today, the House digs into whether the VA’s new system to prioritize claims is working.

6:00am AKDT

House Veterans' Affairs Committee Hearing

Topic: "An Examination of VA's Special Initiative to Process Rating Claims Pending Over Two Years."

Testimony from:

  • VA Undersecretary for Benefits Allison Hickey on the Veterans Benefits Administration
  • VA Undersecretary for Field Operations Diane Rubens of the Veterans Benefits Administration

Watch the entire hearing online: veterans.house.gov

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