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Senator Lisa Murkowski today continued to advocate for Arctic investment with her colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. While discussing the Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security funding bill, Murkowski insisted that the committee focus more on Arctic issues like maritime commerce, natural resource development, Coast Guard search and rescue, and the critical need to invest in icebreakers.
Subcommittee Chairwoman Senator Mary Landrieu promised Senator Murkowski that she would schedule a subcommittee hearing this fall to discuss Arctic investment – specifically, how the subcommittee will allocate $1 billion to purchase an icebreaker for the Coast Guard.
During the hearing, Senator Murkowski spoke about the Arctic, saying that for far too long, the region has been viewed as “frozen in time”. She continued to press the United States to take advantage of the unique opportunity to be an international leader beginning next year when it assumes the chair of the Arctic Council, saying:
The rest of the world will be looking to see how America leads as an Arctic nation. And right now, they are kind of sitting back and scratching their heads, and saying what are they doing? …I appreciate the attention of the Chair and the Ranking Member to make this a priority. I don’t think we are moving fast enough. I’m a little impatient. I feel that most of us in the Senate, in the Congress for that matter, still kind of view this as “out of sight, out of mind”.
Senator Murkowski’s entire testimony can be heard by clicking here.