Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has had a hard time since she took office in her first term. She was handed her seat in the Senate by her father when he stepped down to take over as Alaska’s governor. She had to fight to retain the seat in her first election, and she did. She had to deal with the brief term of Sarah Palin as governor, and she has gone against the base Republicans on numerous occasions because it was right for the people of Alaska for her to do so. And once again, she went against not only the majority of the Republicans in the Senate, but also against Donald Trump, which has made her a new target for the Commander-in-Chief on Twitter.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize Murkowski after she voted against dismantling Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. The GOP received only 50 votes of the 51 needed after two Republican Senators, Murkowski and Maine’s Senator Susan Collins voted against the action, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote. Trump wrote that Murkowski let her party down as well as the country. Lisa Murkowski was also one of nine republicans who voted against the health care overhaul bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday afternoon, Murkowski responded to the President. She said that her vote was from her heart, and for the people of Alaska. She said that she will continue to fight for the Alaskans she represents and focus on their needs, which she felt dismantling Obamacare did not represent.
CNN reported that while the President went after Senator Lisa Murkowski, he has yet to publicly criticize Senator Susan Collins. However, the President has threatened Republicans who do not support him that their future in Washington could be in jeopardy. He said that anyone who votes against repeal and replace is telling the people of the United States that the “nightmare” of Obamacare is fine, and he predicts that they will see a lot of problems with their medical care.
Murkowski said that she does not follow the Presidents tweets. She said that she is focusing on her job representing the best interests of the people of Alaska. She is going to continue to do what she came to Washington D.C. to do.
Previously, Trump has publicly pressured anyone in his party who would not back him on the health care front. Senator Dean Heller, who is up for re-election in 2018, was against the GOP’s health care bill, and Trump predicted that he would reverse his decision to save his senate seat. Trump questioned that if he wanted to remain a senator he will support the president. He said this with the Nevada Republican sitting right next to him.
Heller did say that he voted to proceed, but if the final bill is not good for the state of Nevada, he will not vote for it to pass. Trump is really pushing for the Republicans to back him, period, and he is ready to fight the Democrats instead of trying to have a true bipartisan Senate. It worked for him in the campaign, so he feels that is the way to run his presidency. However, threatening Senators, like Lisa Murkowski could hurt the president in the long-run.
By Cletus Dillwood
CDA News File Photo