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[Special Report] Senator Dan Sullivan Comes to Craig Alaska

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Fresh from the controversial and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, Dan Sullivan visited Prince of Wales for the very first time since being sworn in as United States Senator on January 6, 2015. As i've mentioned previously, regardless of personal politics my impression is that Dan Sullivan is a genuine man who really does care for Alaska.



Perhaps, it's because he is a freshman politician and hasn't been corrupted by the system yet,  he talked honestly and passionately about growing the economy, the issues America faces on the international front, as well as his personal mission to provide for American Veterans.


Dan Sullivan serves on four Senate committees vital to Alaska: the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the Armed Services Committee; the Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

He talked with Fred Bennett (one of many local Veterans) who was a Marine and served in the Korean War.


Photo Courtesy of Jan Trojan

The Senator talked about his bi-partisan bill that he introduced this year "Advancing America’s Missile Defense Act of 2017". The bill is a "direct response to continued aggression from North Korea, it seeks to strengthen and improve the reliability, capability, and capacity of U.S. homeland missile defense."

The Bill specifically has the goals of:

  • Integrated Missile Defense: Promotes an integrated, layered ballistic missile defense system incorporating Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Aegis Ashore, and Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems.
  • Authorizes Additional Interceptors: Authorizes an additional 28 Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs).
  • Speeds Tech Development: Accelerates the development and deployment of advanced interceptor technologies (Redesigned Kill Vehicle; Multi-object Kill Vehicle MOKV; New, More Flexible and Capable Booster).
  • Space-based Sensors: Accelerates the development and deployment of a space-based sensor layer.
  • East Coast/Midwest Site: Accelerates the completion of the EIS for an interceptor site on the East Coast and in the Midwest of the U.S.
  • Increases Testing: Authorizes additional missile defense testing and expresses the need to change current test culture at the Missile Defense Agency.
  • Requires DoD Report: Mandates report for up to 100 GBIs distributed across the U.S. and asks for specifics on their optimal locations and the possibility of transportable GBIs. [Read More Here]


Photo Curtesy of Jan Trojan

The Senator talked about his effort to tackle sexual assault and domestic violence by introducing his bill to Congress, "Pro bono Work to Empower and Represent (POWER) Act." [This bill just passed the Senate on August 2nd, 2017]

The POWER Act directs that each year, the United States Attorney in each judicial district across the country hold at least one event, in partnership with domestic violence service providers or volunteer lawyer projects, which promotes pro bono legal services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Each office is also asked to submit a report to the Attorney General detailing the occurrence of the event to the Department of Justice which will then compile the nation-wide reports into a single report to be submitted to Congress annually.

Additionally, critically important to both Senators is addressing the high rates of domestic and sexual violence among the Native American and Alaska Native populations in their states. The bill includes a provision requiring many United States Attorney’s offices to work with the Native populations in their judicial district in planning and holding an event every few years with a focus on addressing these crimes in Indian Country and among Native populations. [Read about the Act/Bill Here]

Audio:







Dan Sullivan also addressed the Healthcare issues in the Nation and in Alaska


In particular he highlighted that premiums have gone up in Alaska 200% and he believes that Congress will tackle Healthcare legislation again in the coming years. He wants each state to have the authority to address the Healthcare needs that are "unique" to them. Instead of a one size fits all approach. For example, the opioid problem that is hitting this nation and Alaska particularly hard.

Audio:




I was able to ask my question on introducing legislation to create term limits in Congress


"Polls around the country show that regardless of political affiliation 70% of Americans want term limits on Congress to get rid of career politicians, what are your opinions on the matter and would you introduce or cosponsor term limit legislation?" 

The Senator replied saying that the biggest problem with putting term limits on Congress is that there are no term limits on the 'Bureaucracy'. Meaning that by the time a legislator was able to figure out 'the system' and learn how it works to make a difference, he or she is then quickly out of the system. Meanwhile, the unelected Bureaucracy continues to do their work and become more and more powerful.

I asked him how about a bill putting term limits on Bureaucrats then?

He replied that he never thought about that before and would definitely consider it. 

Listen to the Exchange: 




Kathy Peavey showing the Senator pictures from the debris clean up efforts in Southeast after the 2011 Fukushima Tsunami in Japan

How to Make Future Meetings With Politicians Better:

In the future, when our esteemed legislators show up to do town halls it would be great to have a moderator when it comes to a "Question and Answer" session, where one person at a time gets to ask a question. What ended up happening is that a few people swarmed the Senator and engaged in lengthy monologues on only a few topics and other substantial issues, unfortunately, did not get brought up nor answered. However, I do have to say that there was a comical exchange with a certain resident (who will go unnamed) that gently grabbed the Senator by his lapel while making a point.

Senator Sullivan also wanted to remind the Islanders that if they ever have any issues with a Federal agency, getting visas, or grants you may contact him or go to his website for more information.


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