Peter Granitz, APRN - Washington DC
pgranitz (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 202.488.1961 | About Peter
Much of the federal government is now shutdown because of Congress’s failure to pass a funding bill. Huge sections of the government – the costliest ones, like Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits and war-fighting efforts – remain open. But the shutdown could have huge affects in Alaska, the state with the third highest percentage of federal employees.
The Senate passed a measure advancing a government funding bill yesterday that zeroes out money for the Affordable Care Act. Both Senators Murkowski and Begich supported the measure. And Congressman Don Young supported it in the House last week.
The mass shooting at a Navy installation in Washington, D.C. Monday is reigniting the debate over guns and background checks. The Alaska Congressional delegation is not predicting any movement.
Although Northern Dynasty officials say the company will continue to develop plans for the mine in Southwest Alaska, the state’s senators are skeptical.
The debate over whether to attack Syria is extremely fluid right now. President Barack Obama, in a national address Tuesday night, called on Congress to delay a vote authorizing the use of force. Alaska’s delegation has all weighed in against that action.
Syria does not produce much oil. It’s allies do, though, said Ed Hirs, an energy economist at the University of Houston.
The United States Sixth Fleet is sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Fifth Fleet is in nearby Bahrain. The Pentagon is mobilizing forces for long-range bombings or cruise missile strikes.
Hays Research Group asked 388 likely primary voters their opinions of a possible 2014 ballot initiative that would prohibit the Pebble Mine. More than 60% said they favor the measure. Some two-thirds of that group strongly support it.
President Barack Obama wants to tie college rankings to how affordable they are and whether students are landing in the workforce after graduation.
Global unrest is forcing oil prices to rise just as rural Alaskans are purchasing heating oil for the coming winter.
Senator Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young hope members of their party won’t shut down the government over the health care bill.
In June, the United States Supreme Court struck down a key formula of the Voting Rights Act. Section IV of the 1965 law determined which states needed to get federal approval before changing any voting laws. Alaska was one of nine states subject to that rule known as preclearance.
Japanese political leaders hope to revitalize the country’s nuclear program. It scaled back from more than 50 nuclear reactors to less than five after an earthquake caused a meltdown at the Fukushima reactors in 2011.
Alaska’s Congressional delegation has been urging the Pebble Partnership to submit its application for its Bristol Bay mine.
A host of environmental groups sued the federal government for allowing Shell to proceed with its Arctic drilling campaign despite weak spill response plans.
The House Appropriations Committee aims to slash the Interior Department’s budget by $5 billion. The Senate has yet to release its plan.
Alaska’s senators welcomed President Barack Obama’s new corporate tax rates with little fanfare.
The U.S. Senate passed a compromise measure to lower student loan interest rates. The plan reduces rates for undergraduates and grad students enrolling in Alaska colleges this fall.
Alaska’s two largest mobile service providers create joint venture to take on Verizon and AT&T.
The Department of the Interior says latest revenue sharing bill costs $6 billion.