U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, made the following comments in response to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye's announcement that the panel will implement a two-year moratorium on earmarks:
"I am disappointed in the decision to impose a two-year earmark moratorium. The Constitution clearly gives Congress the power of the purse and a moratorium on congressional earmarks will not reduce federal spending or the deficit by one cent. We are in essence abdicating our constitutional duties, giving cabinet departments and federal agencies the sole power, authority and ability to target and spend taxpayers' money.
"While I will honor Sen. Inouye's request not to submit earmark requests to the committee, it is still important for me to know the needs of Alaska. The best way to get that information is directly from individual Alaskans, so it will be my policy to continue to solicit that information from towns and communities across the state.
"Many of the funding sources we rely on in Alaska are formula-driven, not specific earmarks, and as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will be working hard to ensure that Alaska's interests are protected and that the state continues to benefit from federally funded programs."