Another Congress, Another Bill to Rename it Mount Denali

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has filed a bill to forever change the name of Mount McKinley to Denali. As in past years, it will no doubt be blocked by lawmakers from Ohio, the birth state of President McKinley. Murkowski says it’s still an important cause.

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“It’s something that Alaskans look at in the state and are just reminded that there are decisions that are done for us, outside the state, without consultation,” she said.

Alaska has been clamoring for the name change since the 1970s. Murkowski says Ohio shouldn’t take it personally. And yes, in case you’re wondering, Alaska’s junior senator, Ohio-born Dan Sullivan, does support the bill. In fact, Sullivan signed on as a co-sponsor.

Meanwhile, in the House, Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio, has already filed a counter measure, a bill to declare the mountain will remain McKinley. Gibbs’ district includes Canton, home of the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at

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