Trump Singles Out Murkowski For Vote Opposing Obamacare Repeal Debate

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, heads to the chamber for a vote, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 20, 2017. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is spurring Republican senators to resolve internal disputes that have pushed their marquee health care bill to the brink of oblivion, a situation made more difficult for the GOP because of Sen. John McCain's jarring diagnosis of brain cancer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning singled out Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for her votes against debate on a Obamacare repeal bill and against the Senate’s replacement bill, saying the senator let Republicans down.

Murkowski was one of two Republican senators who voted Tuesday against a motion to proceed to debate on Obamacare repeal, though her defection did not prevent Republicans from clearing that procedural hurdle. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) also voted against the motion to proceed, but her opposition to beginning debate had long been solidified. It was an open question going into the vote Tuesday afternoon which lawmakers and how many would vote against moving to debate.

After voting against the motion to proceed, Murkowski released a statement calling on Republicans to hold hearings on health care.

“I have repeatedly said that healthcare reform, and especially major entitlement reform, should go through the committee process where stakeholders can weigh in and ideas can be vetted in a bipartisan forum,” she said in the statement. “I voted ‘no’ today to give the Senate another chance to take this to the committee process.”

Murkowski also voted against the Senate Obamacare replacement bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, on Tuesday night, but she was joined by eight other Republican senators in doing so.

Trump has not played a large role in the Senate’s process to repeal and replace Obamacare. He has only weighed in occasionally and has tried to threaten and guilt Republicans into passing a bill. As he has attempted to persuade Republicans to hammer out a deal, he has waffled on which approach would make the most sense.

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