Senator Dan Sullivan discusses issues facing 117th Congress with DC Bureau Correspondent

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 4:16 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - In December, Republican Dan Sullivan spoke with Gray Television’s DC Bureau Correspondent Peter Zampa about issues facing the 117th Congress.

“What’s going through my mind will be what we’re doing right now, and I think that’s the focus, on continuing the relief that Alaskans, their fellow Americans, that everybody needs, I think, still to get through this pandemic, with regard to the health issues and definitely with regard to the economy and jobs, and so that’s what we’re focused on now. That’s certainly what I’m going to be focused on starting in January.”

Sullivan discussed opportunities for bipartisanship with President-elect Joe Biden.

“There’s been a whole host of bipartisan, critical issues that we have gotten done in the last 9 months,” he said, mentioning the CARES Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, and the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act.

“One of the things that the Alaska congressional delegation really works closely with the Trump administration on is, ‘Hey, don’t forget about Alaska.’ Yes, we might be far away, but we have challenges that no other state has dealing with these pandemics.”

Sullivan said he has been pressing the Trump administration on continuing Alaska’s trend of high per-capita COVID-19 testing and on access to the vaccine. “I certainly am going to continue to press the incoming administration on those same kinds of issues, and rebuilding our economy.”

However, Sullivan has concerns that the incoming administration will not be as supportive about certain industries he believes will help Alaska grow its economy, including resource development. “If they’re not, then we’re going to have a battle. I hope that’s not the case.”

The senator emphasized the cooperation that went toward Operation Warp Speed, the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. “That was all started with funding in the CARES Act. I was part of a small group of senators that were very focused on that. What we were calling at the time a Manhattan Project for the vaccine, that has actually come to pass. It’s almost a medical miracle that we got that done so quickly.”

Sullivan explained that he thinks it’s critical that the Republican Party maintain control of the Senate. “Otherwise you’re going to see a tendency, or a push, for the incoming Biden-Harris administration to go far-left, particularly on the economy, on jobs, on the energy sector, so I think it’s actually fundamental that hopefully we win one or two of those races in Georgia.”

Sullivan was sworn in to his second term by Vice President Mike Pence on January 3rd, joined by his wife and their three daughters.

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