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

Both of Alaska’s U.S. senators wrote the White House budget director Wednesday asking him to spare the Coast Guard from the budget ax. Listen now

Two U.S. House committees are about to take up a Republican replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Lisa Murkowski could turn out to be a swing vote, willing to break with her party to keep Medicaid expansion and funding for Planned Parenthood. What does she make of the House bill? She's not saying. Listen now

U.S. House Republicans have released their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Their plan would defund Planned Parenthood and phase out Medicaid expansion. It offers tax credits to help people buy insurance, but the credits are far less generous to Alaskans than the subsidies in existing law. Listen now

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he will not involve himself in any investigation of foreign interference in last year’s election. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was among several Republicans who called on him to recuse himself. Listen now

Former Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke rode a horse to his first day of work in Washington, D.C. today. He’s the new secretary of the Interior. The position is an important one for Alaska, where more than 60 percent of the land is owned by the federal government. Listen now

The White House wants to eliminate Environmental Protection Agency funds for water projects in Alaska Native villages. That’s according to a story in the Washington Post Wednesday (March. 1). It said the Trump administration’s plans for the EPA budget also include trimming grants to states by 30 percent and eliminating climate-change initiatives. Listen now

President Trump gave a restrained speech to Congress Tuesday night. He said little about energy or the environment. But Alaska's congressman and U.S. senators liked a lot of what they heard. Listen now

President Trump reportedly wants the EPA budget cut 25 percent. There’s no word yet on where exactly the budget ax will fall, but Alaska has a lot at stake: The state received $78 million last year from the EPA in grants and contracts. Listen now

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, in his annual address to the Alaska Legislature, barely mentioned President Trump, and he did not bring up the issues that drove demonstrators to the steps of the state Capitol today: Trump’s policies on immigration and refugees, and the Affordable Care Act. Sullivan did, though, directly quote a different president - Teddy Roosevelt. Listen now

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said today he expects the Department of Justice will step up enforcement of federal marijuana laws. No details yet on how this will affect states that have set up recreational marijuana industries. Listen now

Sen. Murkowski is skeptical of some of President Trump's actions, but in a speech to the Alaska Legislature, Murkowski portrayed the Trump administration as an opportunity for resource development. She also says she won't vote to defund Planned Parenthood or repeal Medicaid expansion. Listen now

Multiple news outlets report Mike Dubke is about to be named as President Trump’s new communications director. The Washington-based political strategist has worked on several Alaska campaigns, including those of Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan. Listen now

On Thursday (Feb. 16) the U.S. House approved a bill to lift Obama administration restrictions on hunting and trapping of bears, wolves and other predators on federal wildlife refuges in Alaska. Listen now

Alaska Congressman Don Young says he’s never smoked marijuana. But Young says he wants to change federal law to help marijuana entrepreneurs do business. The issue has Young joining forces with congressmen of different stripes. Listen now

Republicans in the U.S. House, trying to roll back environmental rules of the Obama Administration, have turned to a rule that prohibits several methods of hunting predators in Alaska's National Wildlife Refuges. Amid talk of “puppy killing,” Alaska Congressman Don Young argued it’s up to the state to manage wildlife populations. Listen now

For most of the past 20 years, Alaska Congressman Don Young has been either a committee or subcommittee chairman. But now he wields no gavel. Listen now

The U.S. Senate today (Feb. 7) voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Education secretary. DeVos is the only one President Trump’s cabinet nominees so far to face serious trouble on the Senate floor. Senators were evenly divided, 50 to 50, and Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaker in favor of confirmation. Alaska’s two senators were split. Listen now

Parents and activists who don’t want to see Betsy DeVos confirmed as U.S. Education secretary are hitting the streets and the phone lines, around the country and in Alaska. Listen now

WASHINGTON - Alaska’s U.S. senators helped President Trump fill out his cabinet this week, but in different degrees. With a new, colorful president in the White House, each of them has to decide how close to stand to the standard-bearer of their party. Listen now

Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced Wednesday she will vote “no” on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos to be Education secretary, after intense pressure from her constituents. But Alaska’s two U.S. senators are split over DeVos. Listen now