Senator Lisa Murkowski today voted for the S. 1786, the Long-Term Surface Transportation Extension Act -- an alternative measure to S.1769, the American Jobs Act -- which she voted against in back-to-back votes on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and had the following statement afterwards:
"Alaska would have seen more work and funding from the Long-Term Surface Transportation Extension Act than the American Jobs Act, and the funds would have gotten to the state quicker without raising taxes on a single American. It's disappointing that after today's votes, we're no closer to creating infrastructure jobs. Next week, there is a committee hearing to consider a bipartisan highway bill and I'm hopeful we can find a solution there that brings meaningful jobs and relief for some Americans and Alaskans."
S. 1786 would have distributed over $1 billion to Alaska over the next two years, on work including the Denali Access Program, the Ferry Boat Discretionary Program, and a number of reduced cost-shares for Alaska -- while removing some regulatory hurdles. It would have been funded by the existing funds the fuel tax in place. S. 1769 would have provided $60 billion nationally but only $220 million for Alaskan infrastructure work, funded by a tax increase -- with the Congressional Budget Office estimating it would take 4 years to get 80% of those funds out the door.