Gil Lucero, who has moved from the Mat-Su Valley to Washington DC, sent this video today to Mat-Su Democrats:
Senator Mark Begich
Julie Hasquet, Sen. Begich's Press Secretary, sent out the following this morning:
As Mark Begich officially became a United States Senator for Alaska today, he secured positions on two Senate committees vital to Alaska – the Commerce, Science & Transportation and Armed Services committees. On those committees, Begich will influence national and Alaska policy on a wide range of issues including transportation, fisheries, climate change, economic development and military and veterans matters.
The committee assignments were Begich’s top picks among those available to new senators. The Armed Services Committee is a “Super A” committee with wide jurisdiction over military issues including the development of weapons systems and military operations, military research and development, pay, promotion, retirement and other benefits for members of the Armed Forces. Issues covered by the Commerce Committee include communications, highways, aviation, transportation security, fisheries, the Coast Guard, tourism, climate change, economic development and others.
“With the wide range of issues facing Alaskans, I’m pleased to work with Senate leaders to position myself in the best places to focus on Alaska’s priorities,” Begich said. “I’m looking forward to getting to work this week on helping turn around the national economy and create jobs for our residents.
Begich was escorted into the Senate chambers today by Sen. Lisa Murkowski a tradition performed by the senior senator of a state, and sworn in to office by Vice-President Dick Cheney. All newly-elected and re-elected senators were sworn in as well.
Begich and Murkowski have agreed not to overlap their committee assignments so they can have as broad influence as possible over issues key to Alaska.
Following the swearing in ceremony, Senator Begich hosted more than 100 friends and family members, many in Washington from Alaska, at a reception in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.