Murkowski Doubles Fishery Failure Relief Support on Capitol Hill
Senator Attracts Twenty Two New Congressional Lawmakers to her Original “Coastal Coalition” of Sixteen Senators
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In her continuing efforts to secure federal relief funds for Alaskan communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers – as well as Cook Inlet – damaged by low salmon runs in 2012, Senator Lisa Murkowski today more than doubled the number of lawmakers on both sides of Capitol Hill advocating for resources for fisheries that have experienced their own “fish droughts” over the past two years.
Murkowski already established strong bipartisan backing from 15 of her Senate colleagues earlier this year. Her continued efforts to boost the visibility of the issue can be seen in today’s letter to Congressional leadership from lawmakers concerned about fishery failure funds. Beyond the original sixteen legislators, today’s letter includes three more Senate colleagues from the East Coast – Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) – as well as nineteen members of the House of Representatives, bringing the total to 38 signatories.
In the letter, Murkowski and the co-signatories write:
For the communities they affect, fisheries disasters are as devastating as other federally-declared disasters. Therefore, we request your assistance in ensuring that the $150 million fisheries disaster mitigation fund included in the Senate-version of the CJS appropriations bill is included in any final FY 2014 funding package. These funds could be used in a variety of ways to provide fishermen vital help including support for emergency financial assistance, operational costs where necessary, economic development programs and science to manage the fishery in a timely way that gives confidence to all stakeholders.
Murkowski’s Fisheries Disaster Funding Efforts
Today’s development marks just the latest effort of Senator Murkowski to deliver resources and results to Alaska’s fishing communities reeling from 2012’s anemic salmon run – along with other national fisheries that have faced similar setbacks since then. Up to this point, Murkowski’s fight for fishery failure relief has included:
- Working with her Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee colleagues to direct $150 million into the 2014 Fiscal Year budget for fishery failures nationwide.
- Having her amendment to the Budget resolution adding fish disaster funds pass the Senate unanimously in March, and
- A January floor speech where she compared the urgency of the situation for impacted regions to those of farmlands who suffer dry seasons damaging their crops – calling fishery failures “droughts in our rivers and streams.”