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decades, the people of King Cove have asked for a reliable way to access
life-saving services and improve their quality of life, through a
simple, one-lane, gravel road. After years of efforts, the Department of
the Interior and the King Cove Corporation signed an agreement
authorizing a small land exchange needed to construct a road. This is a huge
win for the people of King Cove and all of Alaska.
Alaska Delegation and community leaders celebrating the King Cove land
Click image above for my remarks at the King
Cove announcement press conference.
Delegation and community leaders celebrating the King Cove land
Celebrating the opening of the
non-wilderness 1002 Area of ANWR with longtime friends during a
recent visit to Fairbanks.
New Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing
Early last month the
Interior Department released a new draft of the proposed Five-Year Oil
and Gas Leasing Program for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for
2019-2024, which renews the opportunity for production in Alaska’s
Arctic. This is important as we seek to create jobs, refill the
Trans-Alaska Pipeline, keep energy affordable, and strengthen our long-term
security. I’ll be encouraging Secretary Zinke to focus on the
Chukchi, Beaufort, and Cook Inlet as the new plan progresses through the
A special congratulations to my friend and colleague Congressman
Don Young on being named Dean of the House of
Providing Relief to
Last month, the Senate
ended a government shutdown that was disruptive to thousands in
Alaska and across the nation by passing a continuing resolution (CR) which
funded the government through February 8, 2018. Congress then passed a
funding measure last week to ensure the government remains funded
through March 23. These funding measures contained some major legislative
wins for Alaska:
- Reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for 10 years,
which will be crucial to the more than 17,700 of Denali KidCare
enrollees who rely on CHIP.
- Suspended three Affordable Care Act taxes and fees, including the so-called
Cadillac Tax, which will give Alaskan employers who would have been hit
hardest by this tax penalty much needed time to address the impact of
this tax on their healthcare plans.
- Two-year extension for our community health centers, which will
be vital to providing access to affordable healthcare for our most
vulnerable individuals and families.
- Provided $89.3 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to
help states and communities impacted by recent hurricanes and
wildfires. This includes relief for communities affected by fisheries
Standing up for our
to include disaster funding for coastal
communities impacted by fisheries disasters as part of any disaster relief
package that moves through Congress. After more than a year of
persistence, funding for fisheries disasters was included in the emergency
supplemental appropriations, contained in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement.
This legislation is truly vital to communities like those in the Gulf
of Alaska who were hit hard by the pink salmon fishery in 2016. I
appreciate my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee,
especially Senators Cochran and Shelby, for working with me over the months to
secure this aid for Alaska and other states impacted by these
Fighting the Opioid
we heard from Mr.
Sam Quinones, journalist and author of Dreamland: The True Tale of
America’s Opiate Epidemic. I questioned Mr. Quinones on how
we as Senators and role models can use our positions, federal
programs, policies, and funding to address the opioid crisis and the stigma
associated with those who have been impacted.
to watch my Q&A with Mr. Sam Quinones.
The , legislation I cosponsored, was recently signed into law. It
directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop,
maintain, and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy.
This will provide high-quality family-centered care in all healthcare
services to the 40 million family caregivers in this
We should not punish children for the actions
of their parents. Those who were brought to this country by their
parents, were raised here, educated here, lived here, and dreamed here,
should be welcomed to stay here. They should have the right to work and a
way to citizenship. I have consistently cosponsored legislation to
provide just that, which can be. The
Senate will have a robust floor debate beginning today.
In December, the Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs
Act, comprehensive tax reform that aims to encourage the economic growth
needed to create jobs and generate wealth, while reducing
taxes. Americans have already begun to see the benefits. , including in Alaska,
have given pay raises, bonuses, or 401(k) increases as a result. The IRS
is currently working on new withholding tables that should translate
to increases in take home pay for many Alaskans as soon as this month.
Important highlights of the bill include:
Roughly doubling the standard deduction to protect the
amount of what you earn each year from taxes – from $6,350 and
$12,700 under current law to $12,000 and $24,000 for individuals and
married couples, respectively.
- Increasing the Child Tax Credit.
- Lowering individual taxes and setting the rates at 0%, 10%, 12%, 22%,
24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.
- Continuing to allow people to write off the cost of state and local taxes -
just like current law – up to $10,000. This gives individuals and
families the ability to choose among sales, income and property taxes
to best fit their circumstances.
- Preserving the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the Earned Income
- Eliminating the ACA
individual mandate penalty tax.
In December, the FCC announced its decision to roll-back an
Obama-era rule called Net Neutrality. I believe in an open, accessible
internet for everyone. It is time for a legislative solution, not more
executive action, and I will be pushing my colleagues to work
together to enact durable protections for consumers and an open
Coordinated Ocean Monitoring
and Research Act
Senate recently passed the Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research
Act, legislation that I cosponsored, reauthorizing the Integrated Ocean
Observing System (IOOS) to help measure the impacts of Ocean
Acidification. This bill will help fill in some of our gaps in ocean monitoring
and more effectively address the issues that affect our
I also to identify and
assess communities, including island communities, low-population rural
communities, and subsistence communities, that are most dependent on
coastal and ocean resources that may be impacted by ocean
conducting ocean observation.
Legislator of the Year Award
named “Legislator of the Year” with The American Network of
Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).
opiate listening session with groups from around Fairbanks. The Fairbanks
Opiate Task Force, Fairbanks Native Association, and Department of
Corrections all shared ideas on fostering wellness through prevention
My office offers a
number of internship opportunities in both my Washington, D.C. office, as
well as select state office locations. Internship programs are
available for recent Alaskan high school graduates.
To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and a
letter of recommendation to my Washington D.C. office. Faxed or
e-mailed applications are preferred. Information should be faxed to
202-224-5301 attn: Intern Coordinator.
For the Summer Internship program, please complete the application
below. Applications are due March 15th!
Every year I have the honor of
nominating a group of promising young Alaskans for admission to our
nation’s military academies. Thank you to all the applicants for
their willingness to serve. I wish you all the best of
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