The Trump administration isn’t happy with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s votes on healthcare, and it is reportedly threatening the state with retribution.
The Alaska Dispatch News reported Wednesday that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has called both Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan, both Republicans from the state.
“I’m not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop,” Sullivan told the Alaska Dispatch News. “I tried to push back on behalf of all Alaskans. … We’re facing some difficult times and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the policies that Secretary Zinke and the president have been talking about with regard to our economy. But the message was pretty clear.”
President Donald Trump has been railing on Murkowski over her healthcare votes. In a tweet on Wednesday, he said the senator “really let the Republicans, and our country, down” when she voted against opening debate on healthcare legislation.
Murkowski was one of nine Republican “no” votes on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, and one of seven Republicans to vote against a plan to repeal Obamacare without a replacement. She, along with Senator Susan Collins of Maine voted against the motion to proceed to debate Tuesday. Sullivan has voted “yes” on both health plans.
Murkowski has had concerns about the Senate’s repeal-and-replace plan. In one version of the bill, she was given some incentive to vote in favour of it: a guarantee of funding for Alaska to combat high premiums. She supports the federal expansion of Medicaid (something the proposed bills would take away) and keeping Planned Parenthood funded.
Murkowski isn’t up for reelection until 2022. She told MSNBC on Wednesday:
“We’re here to govern. We’re here to legislate. We’re here to represent the people that sent us here, and so every day shouldn’t be about campaigning, every day shouldn’t be about winning elections. How about just doing a little bit of governing around here? That’s what I’m here for.”