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Mark Begich: A Record of Standing For Alaska Native Peoples


ANCHORAGE – With a rapid rise in seniority through the U.S. Senate and a seat on both the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Indian Affairs Committee U.S. Senator Mark Begich has been an effective fighter for Alaska Native peoples and rural Alaska.

Begich’s record includes:

  • 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.
  • Safe Families & Villages Act – Begich introduced the Safe Families & Villages Act to give Alaska tribes resources and local control to empower communities to manage domestic violence.
  • 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.

Mark Begich spoke this morning to a meeting of the Alaska Native Village CEOs.