Murkowski: Senate had duty to approve spending bill, avoid government shutdown

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. (Photo by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media)

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski on Thursday touted the Senate’s passing of a spending bill, avoiding a possible government shutdown.

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The $1 trillion omnibus appropriations legislation would keep the government running until September. It passed the Senate 79-18.

Murkowski is a member of the Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. She said the bill addresses Alaskans’ needs and that a shutdown would have been disastrous, even if President Trump seemed to welcome the possibility earlier this week in a tweet.

“I don’t think that there is ever a good time to say that we should shut the government down,” Murkowski said. “I think our responsibility, our obligation, is to govern. It’s to keep the wheels on the bus.”

The bill continues funding for Essential Air Service and to keep the 4-25 Airborne Brigade Combat Team intact at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage. It also includes an Alaska Mental Health Trust land exchange in Southeast.

The spending bill lacks the steep domestic spending cuts President Trump proposed for 2018, but Murkowski said it’s still a responsible use of taxpayer dollars.

The bill now goes to the president.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Casey here

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