Murkowski Votes for Economic Rescue Plan
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, tonight voted for a restructured financial rescue plan that passed the Senate 74 to 25.
"I have heard from so many Alaskans, and share their concern, regarding this economic rescue plan. But it has become clear to me that all Americans are impacted by the crisis that has hit our financial system," Murkowski said. "From Maine, where state transportation bonds have no market, to Ohio, where a children's hospital can't get construction financing, this is a crisis of national and international proportions.
"And there is much at risk in Alaska as well. Not only our multi-billion dollar Permanent Fund but our retirement funds, pensions, 529 savings accounts for our children's education and Alaska Native corporations' investments are all impacted by the turbulence in our financial markets.
"I believe that inaction will cause more damage to this country than we can sustain. As I've been saying all along, Congress must enact legislation that will stabilize the economy, get credit moving in the markets, provide greater oversight and not reward the reckless behavior of some corporate CEOs. I believe this bill puts us on the right track."
The Senate also attached a previously passed tax extenders package to the financial rescue bill that would continue expiring tax breaks, provide energy conservation and renewable energy incentives and provide another one-year fix to keep the alternative minimum tax from raising taxes on millions more Americans.
The tax extenders bill includes a proposal by Murkowski and U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, that would give plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case the ability to increase retirement contributions and provide tax relief through income averaging. The tax package also includes a provision that would extend through September 30, 2011, the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, which provides federal assistance to communities and schools adjacent to National Forests. A new formula would increase Alaska's share of the Secure Rural Schools funding.