Reason for Seeking Public Office:
I came to Washington to get things done. Sometimes that means changing policies that don't work. Sometimes it means preventing bad policies from becoming law. And other times it means reaching across the aisle to find consensus and get things done to benefit everyone -- Alaskans and all Americans.
When I arrived in the U.S. Senate I was filled with optimism and energy, ready to protect Alaska's interests and educate my colleagues about the unique challenges facing our state. Now, I can tell you that Congress has learned a lot about Alaska during my tenure, and I'm as enthusiastic and energetic as ever.
As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I made a promise to get the committee working again to produce results for Alaska and the nation. Over the past year, we have advanced dozens of bills out of my committee. My approach to legislating has been to work collaboratively, to gain consensus and avoid the partisan gridlock that hurts our country.
Through my position as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment, I have oversight of the budgets for the federal agencies that control more than 60% of Alaska lands. As an Alaskan who was born in the Tongass, raised throughout Southeast, Southcentral, and the Interior, I understand Alaskans' connection to our lands and waters, and the importance of protecting our access. Ensuring the promises made to Alaska by the federal government are kept is my top priority and I will continue to fight against the federal overreach that holds our economy back.
As a resource-rich state, access to our land and resources is vital for Alaskan communities to protect the self-determination promised to us at statehood. I will continue to support responsible development of our state's conventional energy resources while also promoting renewable and sustainable technologies that benefit our communities. My mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to all Alaskans.
The Last Frontier can be a challenging and unforgiving place. Fortunately, innovation and perseverance make up the very heart of who we are as Alaskans. I continue to learn and benefit from the wisdom and guidance of the First Alaskans. Working together, we have preserved languages and improved access to education and health care.
Alaska is home to more than 20,000 active duty service members and more than 77,000 veterans. We are thankful for their service. I will continue to ensure that our service members have the resources they need and that their families receive the support they deserve here at home. We will continue to implement reforms at the Veterans Administration so that the men and women, who dedicated their lives to us, receive the quality care they earned.
Today in Washington, there is newfound interest and respect for Alaska -- a recognition of our strategic importance to energy and national security. I will continue to fight for the prosperity of our state and our nation.
As parents, Verne and I want a vibrant future for Alaska where our sons can share in opportunity, and someday raise their own families. It is the vision we all share for our children and for Alaska. I ask for you to join me as we work together for the land and the people we love.