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Begich Shows Leadership on Alaska Native, Rural Issues

Begich is a “Seasoned Fighter…with Bush Cred”


Mark Begich is using his rise in seniority in the Senate as well as his seats on the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Indian Affairs Committee to fight for Alaska Native peoples and rural Alaska.

Begich recently visited Bethel, Napaskiak and Dillingham to hear the concerns of Alaskans and to open field offices in Bethel and Dillingham. Local affiliate KTVA covered the trip. Begich has been called “tough to beat because he’s a fighter and a seasoned campaigner” with “Bush cred.”

“As a fighter for Alaska Native issues – working in the Senate to fix deficits in payments to Alaska Native tribes and fighting to create stronger villages and communities - there is nowhere in Alaska that Mark Begich won’t go to meet with Alaskans,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Begich has acquired a strong record of fighting for Alaska Native and rural issues through his seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Begich’s accomplishments include:

  • Supporting the Voting Rights Act – Begich opposes the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate preclearance under the Voting Rights Act and supports restoration of the law’s authority.
  • Indian Health Service – Begich secured a permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Service, the first reauthorization in over twenty years. He also secured historic full funding for IHS Contract Support Costs to Alaska Native tribal facilities this year.
  • Rural Veterans – A successful Begich initiative allows veterans in rural Alaska to receive health care at tribal health facilities, saving veterans thousands of dollars in travel costs and allowing them to get care close to home.
  • Alaska Territorial Guard – In 2009, Senator Begich successfully secured reinstatement of pension payments for members of the WWII-era Alaska Territorial Guard.
  • Postal Service Reform - Begich has fought back efforts to end Bypass Mail and pushed the U.S. Postal Service to reverse rate increases in rural Alaska, ensuring critical service to Alaskans and a lifeline for the rural Alaska economy.
  • Rural Broadband – Begich helped deliver over $140 million in improvements to rural broadband to provide education and health services and encourage small business growth.
  • Essential Air Service – 82% of Alaska communities are off the road system and Begich has protected vital transportation routes and services by protecting the Essential Air Service program.
  • Safe Families & Villages Act – Begich introduced the Safe Families & Villages Act to give Alaska tribes resources and local control to empower communities to combat domestic violence.