3:37 PM, Dec 17, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Mark Begich, a Democrat from Alaska, is "pleased" to include more than $200 million in pork spending in the Sandy legislation, a bill meant to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The senator's office explains the request in a press release:
Alaskans hard hit by fisheries disasters in recent years would be eligible for federal assistance, if a comprehensive federal disaster funding bill released today gains final Congressional passage. U.S. Senator Mark Begich joined the other members of Alaska's congressional delegation in requesting the funding for Alaskans be included in the legislation, which also addresses the recent Superstorm Sandy which devastated the U.S. East Coast.
The measure proposes $150 million for the declared fisheries disasters in Alaska, New England and the Gulf of Mexico. Sen. Begich also requested that the bill includes funding to address the marine debris washing up on the coasts of western states from the Japan earthquake of March 2011. ...
The bill also included is $56.8 million for charting, damage assessment and marine debris response. Sen. Begich recently wrote to the Appropriations Committee requesting inclusion of funds for the tsunami debris cleanup and fisheries disaster funding in the Superstorm Sandy supplemental package ...
In a statement, Begich expresses his pleasure with his own request. "I am pleased Senate appropriators recognized the need for funds to respond to the 2011 tsunami debris," Begich says, according to his office. "It will be up to NOAA to decide how to allocate those funds between needs for East Coast Sandy response and West Coast tsunami debris response, so I will work closely with the agency to ensure Alaska's needs get fairly considered."
Conservative groups have encouraged elected officials to vote against the bill because of the pork projects.
UPDATE: According to a statement from the White House, the Obama administration supports the Sandy bill:
The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of the amendment in the nature of the substitute to H.R. 1 providing supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2013 to respond to and recover from the severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The Senate amendment will provide the necessary resources to continue ongoing response and recovery efforts, while helping impacted communities effectively mitigate future risk of disaster to prevent losses of this magnitude from recurring.
The amendment ensures urgent and essential needs are being met, while recognizing the need to prevent losses of this magnitude from future disasters. Further, it ensures that funds are invested wisely to improve communities' long-term resilience and protect against waste, fraud, and abuse. Given the emergency and one-time nature of this supplemental appropriation, and in keeping with the response to Hurricane Katrina, Deepwater Horizon, and other disasters, the Administration supports the decision to not offset these funds. The Administration remains committed to balanced deficit reduction, and it believes both parties can come together to achieve that, while ensuring communities affected by Hurricane Sandy have the support they need to recover.
Providing Federal funding for response, recovery, and mitigation following Hurricane Sandy will maintain the Nation's tradition of pulling together to help one another in times of greatest need. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to refine the legislation and urges the Congress to pass a bill as soon as possible to give affected States and communities the support they need to recover and rebuild.
1:28 PM, Jul 25, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican congressman Don Young of Alaska has crossed the aisle to endorse Democrat Mazie Hirono in the U.S. Senate race in Hawaii. "But here's what's important, Hawaii," Young says, sitting next to Hirono. "If you're looking for a United States senator who doesn't just talk about bipartisanship but actually knows how to work with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done, Mazie Hirono will be that senator." Watch the ad below:
12:00 AM, Jun 6, 2011 • By FRED BARNES
It’s anybody's guess whether Sarah Palin will run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. If she does, she’s likely to benefit from a highly favorable documentary that highlights the part of her career least known to most Americans.
9:23 AM, Sep 7, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Freshman Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who beat Ted Stevens in 2008, says the national party shouldn't be counting out Lisa Murkowski's seat in his home state. They just need a little faith:
West Point and Yale Law grad, decorated veteran, judge--and Alaska's next U.S. senator?11:05 AM, Aug 25, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
(Update: On Tuesday, August 31, Lisa Murkowski conceded to Joe Miller following the counting of most absentee ballots.)
In what's shaping up to be the most stunning upset of the 2010 primary season, incumbent GOP senator Lisa Murkowski is trailing political newcomer Joe Miller by 1,668 votes (47,027 to 45,359), with 100 percent of precincts reporting. If Miller can hold on to his lead, as about 8,000 absentee ballots are counted in the next week or two, he'll be in prime position to win the general election and become Alaska's next U.S. senator. So who is Joe Miller? And how did he do it?
1:42 AM, Aug 25, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
With 33 percent of precincts reporting, Joe Miller, the Sarah Palin-backed veteran and former judge, is leading incumbent Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski in the Republican Senate primary 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent--or 21,364 votes to 20,362 votes. As John Fund reported Tuesday, Miller was "closing the gap," but still down by double digits against Murkowski in the most recent polling. This would be a very big upset if Miller wins.
Update: With 50 percent of precincts reporting, Miller is holding his narrow lead over Murkowski, 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent.
Update II: The results remain practically unchanged, with 84.2 percent of precincts reporting. Miller still leads Murkowski, 51.45 percent to 48.55 percent.
Update III (8:57 a.m.): With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Miller leads Murkowski 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent--or 45,909 to 43,949 votes. But the election isn't over quite yet. The Hotline's Reid Wilson writes that there are 8,000 absentee ballots to be counted beginning next Tuesday. But, assuming Miller maintins his 1,960 vote lead as the final two percent of precincts are counted, Murkowski would need 5,000 of the 8,000 absentee votes break in her favor to overtake Miller. (Update III was updated at 9:38 a.m. to correct vote totals.)
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