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Begich addresses military spending, unemployment benefits

By KTVA CBS 11 News 7:48 AM April 9, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

From the nation’s capital, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich said he’s working to oppose certain defense spending cuts and extend unemployment benefits for out-of-work Alaskans.

The senator said proposed reductions in commissary spending would raise prices for military shoppers. At Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, he said, the commissary serves tens of thousands of military retirees and active duty customers and sees almost $5 million in food stamp spending every year.

“What does that mean? That means these folks are already on the edge and cannot afford some of the costs of food,” Begich said. “And now we’re gonna — you know, when I say ‘we,’ the DOD, Department of Defense — is gonna cut and make it more expensive for people to buy food there.”

And while the Senate recently passed a proposed unemployment insurance extension with bipartisan, Begich said he’s not optimistic it will see the same enthusiasm in the House.

“To be frank with you, we’re not getting many positive signs over there,”

Watch the video above to see the entire interview.

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