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Loss of federal disaster funds disappoints Begich

January 25th, 2013 | STAFF Print this article   Email this article  

Early last week, the U.S. House of Representatives removed funds destined for the federal- and state-declared disasters surrounding Alaska's suffering Chinook fishery and tsunami debris cleanup effort.

The funds were part of a natural-disaster funding bill going through the House. The bill passed - minus a few dollars intended for Alaska.

"Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed in this action," said Senator Mark Begich in a released statement.

The decision undermines the damage done to Alaskans affected by those disasters, he said.

"Alaska's natural disasters will not go away just because they do not receive as much national media attention as other disasters around the country," Begich said?"I have encouraged my colleagues to remember the plight of subsistence fishermen who are not able to put food on the table this winter, or those Alaskans affected by the tsunami debris littering and polluting their beaches."

While Begich plans to continue his effort to procure funds for Alaska disaster relief, he will also put his support behind those suffering from natural disasters around the country.

"The Senate will most likely vote on the House version of the Sandy Bill next week," Begich said?"Though the House may have forgotten natural disaster victims in Alaska, I have no plans to hold up funding for the victims of Hurricane Sandy when the bill comes back before the Senate? I assure you that I am fighting for disaster funding and plan to seek funding for the chinook fishery disaster and tsunami debris clean up in the next available legislative vehicle."


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