Sen. Murkowski is first woman vice chair of SCIA
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was officially installed as the vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee this morning.

"She is the first woman vice chair of this committee in all of its years," said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the chairman, to enthusiastic applause.

Murkowski said she was honored to fill a seat that was left vacant by the death of Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyoming). "He was not only a friend to us in the Senate, he was a friend to all those throughout Indian Country," she said of her late colleague.

Murkowski vowed to work with Dorgan to advance high-priority legislation, such as the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. "It's the mission of this committee to ensure that our nation's promises to our Native people are upheld -- that's not a partisan issue," she said.

Relevant Links:
Senate Indian Affairs Committee - http://indian.senate.gov

Related Stories:
Indian Affairs business meeting, hearing (7/16)
Indian Country roads in 'Third World' condition (7/13)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing (7/12)
Senate Indian Affairs hearing on transportation (7/9)
New date for Senate hearing on transportation (7/2)
Senate hearing on Class III draft discussion bill (6/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing (6/25)
Senate Indian Affairs hearing on law enforcement (6/18)
Sen. Craig Thomas, vice chairman of Indian panel, dies at 74 (6/5)
Senate panel postpones transportation hearing (06/05)
Senate hearing on transportation issues (6/4)
Senate Indian Affairs hearing on law enforcement (05/17)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves four bills (05/11)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee meeting (5/10)
Bush administration opposes Native Hawaiian bill (5/4)
Senate hearing on Native Hawaiian recognition (5/3)
Indian Health Care Act introduced in Senate (5/2)
Top Democrat backs Shoshone-Paiute water bill (4/27)
Senate hearing on Shoshone-Paiute water rights (4/26)
Democrats pass Native Hawaiian bill on second try (03/29)
Health care push continues at House hearing (3/19)
DOJ's Indian white paper a political whodunit (3/14)
House hearing on Indian Health Care Improvement (3/14)
Urban Indians under attack over health care (3/12)
Fireworks at Indian health care hearing (3/9)
Senate hearing on Indian Health reauthorization (3/8)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee meets under Democratic rule (01/18)