Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media
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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

The House of Representatives on Tuesday was working on the spending bill that funds the Interior Department. I t typically has a lot of relevance for Alaska, so we've called our Washington correspondent Liz Ruskin to tell us about it. Listen now

A U.S. House hearing turned testy when Alaska Congressman Don Young pressed the Coast Guard to consider employing a ship owned by Edison Chouest as an icebreaker. The owners and employees of the company have been big campaign donors to Young, but a spokesman says the Congressman was just offering that ship as an example. Listen now

Democrat Steve Lindbeck is running a serious campaign against Alaska Congressman Don Young, to judge by the money anyway. Lindbeck today announced that he raised more than $400,000 in the prior three months. Listen now

Alaska’s delegation to Congress writes bills every year to transfer or sell federal land to local governments and Native corporations. In late May, Sen. Lisa Murkowski sponsored one public land bill for Native corporations that’s particularly far-reaching -- apparently more expansive than the senator intended. Listen now

The U.S. Senate Thursday passed a bill that is said to require consumer labeling of genetically modified foods, but opponents say it is too weak. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the legislation would not obligate the makers of genetically engineered salmon to clearly distinguish their product from a natural salmon. Listen now

The Missile Defense Agency plans to use the Kodiak Spaceport to test its THAAD interceptors. But this time, the agency doesn't intend to use the launch structure at the facility. It intends to bring its own launch vehicles and will install temporary living quarters at the complex, says the Alaska Aerospace CEO.

The Missile Defense Agency is bringing some business to Kodiak’s space launch facility. The MDA announced today it is awarding a sole-source contract to the Alaska Aerospace Corporation that could be worth as much as $80 million over the next six years. Download Audio

Gov. Walker’s vetoes fall heavily on K-12 education. He cut the reimbursement for school bonds, shifting the burden to local governments, and reduced formula funds. Download Audio

The Energy Information Administration released and annual forecast that shows oil production from Alaska dwindling to less than half its current level after 2030. “Unless more oil is found in Alaska or along the pipeline right of way, it’s very possible that the Alaska pipeline itself ... would end up shutting down," says the EIA Administrator. Download Audio

Rep. Don Young has enjoyed lots of support from organized labor. Now, two maritime unions are endorsing his opponent. They blame Young for staying silent while a non-union company is poised to win a tanker-escort contract. Malarkey, says Young. Download Audio

We asked Congressman Don Young and U.S. Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski how they feel about Donald Trump these days. Their responses ranged from tepid to chilly. Download Audio

The proposed Pebble Mine was Exhibit A at a hearing in the U.S. House this morning. The Republican-led hearing was supposed to be a critical look at environmental regulation, but the focus shifted as lawmakers of both parties kept asking the same question: Why hasn’t Pebble filed for its permits yet? Download Audio

The state of Alaska is forcing Tesoro to sell one of its gasoline storage terminals at the Port of Anchorage. With the company's purchase of the Flint Hills tank farm at the port, the state says Tesoro would have too much control over gasoline prices in the Railbelt. Download Audio

In the U.S. Senate today, gun control measures failed to get enough votes to advance. Alaska’s U.S. senators voted with their fellow Republicans, to block the amendments. Sen. Dan Sullivan says the only thing that would have stopped two recent mass murders "is not having the rise of ISIS." Download Audio

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, through her assignment on the Appropriations Committee, is charged with writing a bill that funds a wide swath of the federal government. It is a major opportunity to direct money to agencies important to Alaska. The committee passed her bill today, but a Democratic leader says it's unlikely to see the full Senate. Download Audio

Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is dropping out of the race for U.S. Senate. He made the announcement just 15 days after he filed to challenge Lisa Murkowski in the Republican Primary. In a press release, Sullivan said conservative leaders, who he did not name, asked him to run just 1 day before the filing deadline. He says there’s “significant” financial support for a conservative candidate, but he says it would be best for him to work on other political issues. Download Audio

The Forest Service has a plan for the Tongass National Forest that would shift loggers away from the harvest of old-growth trees and offer the industry young trees instead. At the U.S. Capitol this week, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young are working on separate bills to block the plan. Download Audio

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski had a chance to flex some legislative muscle today. As chair of an Appropriations subcommittee, Murkowski writes the legislation that sends money to several agencies and tells them how to spend it. Democrats say her bill is loaded with riders that gut environmental protection. Download Audio

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will return to using its own employees to make appointments for Alaska veterans who need services outside the VA system. Download Audio

An amateur chef from Juneau has won a White House-sponsored recipe competition, and he’s just 9 years old. Denali Schijvens will attend a Kids’ State Dinner in July, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. Download Audio