Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski stood her ground Thursday, asserting that pressure from the White House hasn’t phased her in the slightest.
Speaking to the Alaska Dispatch News, Murkowski confirmed that she heard from both President Donald Trump and Department of Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke to discuss her vote on the Senate’s latest health care legislation.
“Here’s what we’re dealing with. The president wants to get a health care bill. He’s gonna make calls, that’s understood,” Murkowski said Thursday. “He’s been doing it, and that’s kind of his job. I don’t have a hardship with that, I don’t have heartburn with that at all.”
The fact that Zinke called Murkowski (at Trump’s behest, according to reports) is noteworthy due to her position as chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Department of the Interior.
Murkowski voted against a procedural measure to begin debate on health care in the U.S. Senate Wednesday. Despite her opposition, Republicans passed the measure, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote.
Trump took to Twitter after the vote Wednesday, calling out Murkowski.
Senator @lisamurkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Murkowski also voted against a proposal viewed as critical to the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. She rejected Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s proposals and joined other Republicans and the entire Democratic caucus in a 43-57 vote against the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.”
News emerged late Thursday that the Senate was closing in on a “skinny repeal,” which would be a limited rollback on parts of Obamacare. At least three GOP Senators said they’d only support the skinny repeal if the House assured them that it would not become law.
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