After watching Washington rack up a $16 trillion national debt, I knew we had to focus on fiscal discipline for our country. I have been working across party lines to cut wasteful federal spending—large and small. I supported a balanced budget amendment. And I have refused to take a pay raise every year since I’ve been elected.
My top priority is growing Alaska’s economy by creating good jobs right now for Alaskans and investing in critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, ports and harbors to help create jobs. I secured more than $1 billion to build and fix Alaska’s infrastructure, to create new jobs and expand our economy.
I have been fighting to create good jobs throughout Alaska by responsibly developing Alaska’s oil and gas, mineral, and fishing resources. I have also helped secure critical federal permits for projects creating thousands of good paying jobs for Alaskans.
When I was elected to the Senate, I immediately sought and secured a seat on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. With more than 76,000 veterans in Alaska—the most per capita in the nation—we must focus on the critical need for expanded veteran’s health care, job training and placement, mental health support and housing assistance.
From day one in the Senate, I have championed efforts to get a comprehensive energy bill which capitalizes on Alaska’s role as America’s energy storehouse.
Alaskans know first-hand the many options to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and create new jobs. We have vast opportunities for increased oil and gas development and renewable energy deployment.
I’ve always been proud that one of my first votes in the Senate was for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. To me, fair pay for women in the workplace isn’t a complicated issue — it all comes down to basic fairness. The Lilly Ledbetter Act was the kind of common sense, bipartisan solution we need more of in Washington.
I am a senator that always puts Alaska’s families and communities first. This means always putting Alaska before any party or special interest group. It’s why I have fought to ban Frankenfish, stood up for Alaskans’ Second Amendment rights, successfully pushed for responsible resource development and critical infrastructure investments to connect Alaska communities.
In Alaska, fishing isn’t a hobby or a sporting event. More than 76,000 jobs in our state are directly or indirectly linked to the fishing industry. Our fisheries bring in $5 billion to our state’s economy. For us, fishing is a way of life.
Alaska is home to some of largest fisheries in the world. We have more coastline and adjacent marine waters than the rest of the nation combined. We are the largest producer of wild salmon, pollock and Pacific halibut. And we produce up to 62 percent of the nation’s seafood in any given year.
Whether in person or online, no one should be able to invade your privacy, especially not the federal government. Since I came to the Senate, I have strongly opposed government attempts to chip away at your privacy rights.
It is important that law enforcement have the tools at their disposal to protect us, but not at the expense of the privacy of law-abiding citizens. That’s why, when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) came up for extension, I fought against a provision that allowed federal law enforcement to spy on citizens without a warrant.
As the father of a young son, I know how important—and cost effective—investments in early learning are to the success of our kids. We brought Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Alaska. She was able to visit the Rural CAP Child Learning Center to highlight the importance of increased support for local early learning programs. I have argued against cuts to Head Start programs, and I support more focus on pre-K workforce development.
Alaska’s economic success, culture and traditions are rooted in rural Alaska. As Mayor of Anchorage and now as U.S. Senator, I have worked to emphasize the close relationship between urban and rural Alaska. I have brought 11 Cabinet members to Alaska, with nearly all of them traveling to rural communities, including Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Kotzebue, Anaktuvak Pass, Kwigillingok and Hooper Bay to see first-hand the opportunities and challenges of rural Alaska.
Every time Washington tries to dismantle Medicare as we know it, or jeopardize Social Security benefits through privatization or cutting benefits, I fight for Alaska’s seniors.
In Alaska, we face unique challenges as baby boomers retire and require services ranging from long-term care, health care, and adult day services. We need to defend and strengthen the services seniors have earned over their lifetime, especially Social Security and Medicare.