Alaska Congressional Delegation Named Among Most Effective Lawmakers in the 116th Congress
Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Representative Don Young All Named to Senate and House Top Ten Lists
Washington, April 5, 2021
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, were all identified by the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) among the top ten most effective lawmakers in the 116th Congress. CEL, a non-partisan, joint partnership between the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University provides an in-depth look at the effectiveness of individual lawmakers in Congress. In their recently released Legislative Effectiveness Scores (LES) and rankings for the most effective lawmakers in Congress, each member of the Alaska Congressional Delegation made the top ten lists for their ability to advance substantial policy in Congress, demonstrating the incredible effectiveness of the Alaska Congressional Delegation as a whole.
Senator Murkowski was listed as the most effective Republican Senator on energy policy, Senator Sullivan as the most effective Republican Senator on environment policy, and Congressman Young was highlighted as the top Republican Congressman for public lands and Native Americans issues. Representative Young was also recognized as the top representative with the longest streak of “exceeding expectations”.
“Throughout my time in the Senate, I’ve worked hard to always put Alaskans first—to find solutions to our state’s most pressing issues and ensure that the needs of Alaskans are strongly represented at the federal level. In Congress, I’m proud to have great partners in Senator Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young. On the Senate side, Dan and I have positioned ourselves well to serve on important committees that allow us to influence a broad range of legislation in order to best serve the interests of Alaskans. And Don continues to be our champion fighter in the House, looking out for Alaska and working with us to move important bills across the finish line. From opening up the 1002 Area of ANWR to correcting a 50-year old inequity for Alaska Native Vietnam veterans, our ability to work as a team with a united front has served us well in advocating and fighting for Alaska,” said Senator Murkowski. “As we move forward in the 117th Congress, know that I will continue to work alongside the delegation to ensure Alaskans have a voice in our nation’s most important policy decisions.”
“Congressman Young, Senator Murkowski and I consistently punch well above our weight in Washington, and we have no intention of sitting back in the new Congress,” said Senator Sullivan. “As a Senator, Alaskans placed their trust in me to protect their interests, work with colleagues from across the country whenever possible, and to fight hard when our state and families are threatened. Those core objectives give me the drive and motivation that I think are reflected in these effectiveness ratings. The big wins we’ve been able to achieve in the last Congress have largely come from conversations with individual Alaskans. I want to thank Alaskans for your wise counsel and innovative thinking, which certainly contributed to our delegation being rated so highly again. Finally, I have to give kudos to my team—in D.C. and Alaska—whose heart for Alaskans and tireless work ethic certainly made this impressive showing possible.”
“Alaska is unlike any other state in the nation. Alaskans need and deserve legislators who put their priorities at the forefront,” said Congressman Don Young. “It is an honor to be once again recognized as one of the most effective Members of Congress, but it is an even greater honor to have the trust of the great people of Alaska. Since I arrived in Congress, I have passionately fought for Alaskans, and I am as determined as ever to keep up the fight in the 117th Congress. Together, we have accomplished big things: constructing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, implementing the Magnuson-Stevens fisheries bill, and empowering Alaskans to responsibly develop our resources are just some of the victories we have achieved. I am very proud of my Delegation colleagues, Senators Murkowski and Sullivan, for receiving top marks as well. All three Members of our Delegation have been rated 'highly effective,' which underscores just how big a platform Alaska has on the national stage. It is no secret that power dynamics in Washington, D.C. have changed. However, having served in both the majority and minority, I know what it takes to shepherd important legislation through Congress, and I stand ready to keep fighting hard for the people of Alaska.”
During the 116th Congress, Senator Murkowski served as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee where she secured the enactment of legacy policies, including the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, a sweeping lands package that included more than 120 measures benefiting often-rural communities and public lands across the country. Murkowski also worked to advance the Energy Act, the first comprehensive modernization of our nation’s energy policies in 13 years which fosters innovation on a range of technologies critical to our energy and national security, our long-term economic competitiveness, and the protection of our environment. She also helped to shepherd the Great American Outdoors Act over the finish line, which provided a multi-billion dollar down payment to address deferred maintenance on our nation’s public lands. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murkowski secured vital funding to provide new economic opportunities, bolster Alaska’s strategic defense capabilities, improve access to healthcare, and invest in infrastructure. This includes funding she secured to help America develop its role as an Arctic Nation by recapitalizing and expanding America’s fleet of polar security cutters and working with Senator Sullivan to establish a new regional Department of Defense (DOD) Center named the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies. Senator Murkowski also made significant progress in addressing the issue of missing, murdered, and trafficked Indigenous women and girls through the Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act – two bills focused on curbing violence against Native women and girls and in seeking justice for victims.
In the 116th Congress, Senator Dan Sullivan served as chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Security and as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support. During this period, Sullivan authored the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, the most comprehensive marine debris bill ever to become law; secured authorization for up to six Polar Security Cutters, America’s first new icebreakers in a generation; authored the Young Fishermen’s Development Act, legislation lowering the barriers to entry for new fishermen; authored a provision enabling Alaska Native, Vietnam-era veterans to apply for land allotments they missed due to their service; authored legislation bolstering due process rights and preserving a defendant’s access to favorable and potentially exculpatory evidence; and secured a new “Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies.” Additionally, last year, Sullivan was instrumental in coupling the Coast Guard authorization bill, which Sullivan authored, with the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the first time ever.
During the 116th Congress, Congressman Don Young served as the most senior Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. As former Chairman of both committees, Congressman Young's experience, relationships, and commitment to good government were integral to the committees' legislative accomplishments. Congressman Young also served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. He played a significant role in crafting the landmark John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. Congressman Young's late wife, children, and grandchildren are Alaska Native, and he has been a steadfast advocate for the empowerment of Indigenous people across the country. Last Congress, he used his seniority and platform to help pass legislation to combat the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIGW), bolster tribal sovereignty, and ensure that the 8(a) Native contracting program is working for Alaska Native communities. Additionally, the success of Alaska's fisheries has always been one of Congressman Young's highest priorities. Last Congress, his work on behalf of Alaska's fishing industry included drafting legislation to protect Alaska's fisheries from GMO fish, fight back against unregulated fishing, and defend fishermen and processors from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2021, Congressman Young's Young Fishermen Development Act was signed into law by President Trump.