Lisa Murkowski

Murkowski Supports Repealing Obamacare Mandate

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says she supports GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, Politico reports.

Said Murkowski: “I have always supported the freedom to choose. I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy, in order to avoid being taxed.”

“Murkowski’s renewed support for repealing the mandate — after repeatedly opposing her party’s Obamacare repeal bills this year — may be a boon for Senate Republicans’ tax legislation, which includes mandate repeal and is expected to be taken up on the Senate floor next week.”

Why Murkowski’s Vote Probably Can’t Be Bought

A GOP operative explains to HuffPost why Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) probably can’t be convinced to vote for the Graham-Cassidy health care bill by letting Alaska keep Obamacare while it’s repealed for nearly every other state.

Said the operative: “So Lisa Murkowski votes for this bill, she gets to keep the benefits of the Affordable Care Act in Alaska. She votes against the bill, she keeps them as well. Why would she go for that? The only cost is political in terms of a high profile flip-flop that results in irritating all the constituents who aren’t already angry.”

Republicans Attempt to Buy Murkowski’s Vote

A Republican Senate aide told Independent Journal Review that Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are attempting to buy Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) support through new changes to their controversial Obamacare repeal proposal before an expected vote next week.

“This draft includes 3 separate provisions benefiting Alaska.”

Most interesting: Alaska and Hawaii would “continue to receive Obamacare’s premium tax credits” despite them getting repealed in the rest of the country.

Trump Threatens Alaska Over Murkowski’s Vote

President Trump “isn’t going to just let Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) no vote on Tuesday’s health care motion go,” the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

“Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski’s vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska’s two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska’s future with the administration in jeopardy.”

David Nather: “If true — White House and Interior Department spokespeople didn’t respond to the paper’s requests for comment — it would be an unusually blunt retaliation for a senator’s vote. And it raises questions about whether other GOP senators will get the same treatment.”

Murkowski Unfazed by Trump Criticism

After President Trump tweeted that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) “really let the Republicans, and our country, down” by voting against the motion to proceed on health care legislation, the Alaska senator told NBC News, “I am in a position where I’m not looking to reelection until 2022.”

She added: “And quite honestly, I don’t think it’s wise to be operating on a daily basis thinking about what a statement or a response that causes you to be fearful of your electoral prospects.”

Murkowski Calls Health Care Meeting ‘Icky’

When reporters asked Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) how a Republican caucus meeting went the Alaska senator waited for an elevator to arrive, she responded, “Icky,” quickly noting that was not “very senatorial,” the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

When asked if any progress was made “on issues that are important to you” for the health care bill, she paused and said, “No.”

Politico says Murkowski ripped GOP leaders’ attempt to scale back Medicaid spending in their new bill.

Murkowski Rejects Quick Fix for Health Care Bill

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is calling for a “go-slow” approach to developing a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, the Juneau Empire reports.

Said Murkowski: “There are some who are very interested in moving it as quickly as possible to ‘get it behind us.’ I don’t think that’s the responsible path. I want to get right rather than get it behind us, and that’s going to take time.”

DeVos Nomination Could Be In Trouble

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) both said that they will not support Betsy DeVos to be President Trump’s Education secretary pick, The Hill reports.

“If all of the Senate’s Democrats vote against DeVos, she would have 50 votes if the remaining Republicans backed her — with Vice President Mike Pence potentially breaking the tie. No Democrats have backed DeVos.”

Politico: “Republican leaders had been planning to bring either DeVos or Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions to the floor for a confirmation vote later this week. If Sessions is confirmed, Republicans may need to swear in a new senator from Alabama in order to be able to confirm DeVos.”

Murkowski Says Trump Creating Uncertainty Downballot

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said the presidential race is creating uncertainty for down-ballot races like hers that she hasn’t experienced before, the AP reports.

“Murkowski lost her 2010 primary to Joe Miller but won an improbable general election write-in campaign to retain her seat. This year is different than any of her past races, though, because of the uncertainty injected by the presidential race, she said.”