Political News

Trump calls out Murkowski over health care vote

Posted July 26

Sen. John McCain returned to the Senate to cast one of the final and crucial votes on a procedural step to advance Republicans' plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

President Donald Trump criticized Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Twitter Wednesday after she voted against GOP-led efforts to dismantle Obamacare, making her the latest Republican to be publicly rebuked by Trump on the issue.

"Senator @lisamurkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too bad," he tweeted.

Murkowski and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine were the only two GOP senators to vote against a procedural vote backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday afternoon. They were also among the nine Republicans who voted Tuesday night against the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a version of the health care overhaul bill.

Murkowski responded to Trump Wednesday afternoon.

"My vote yesterday was from my heart for the people that I represent," Murkowski told CNN's Elizabeth Landers. "I'm going to continue working hard for Alaskans and focus on that."

Notably, Trump has not yet publicly criticized Collins on social media in the wake of Tuesday's vote.

But the President subtly warned Republicans that their political futures could be in jeopardy if they don't support his efforts.

"Any senator who votes against repeal and replace is telling America that they are fine with the Obamacare nightmare, and I predict they'll have a lot of problems," he said at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, Tuesday night.

For her part, Murkowski told CNN that she is "not one who follows the tweets that handily." Citing a number of policy areas that are on her agenda, Murkowski said, "I have to focus on my job. I have to focus on what I came here to do."

Trump has publicly pressured other members of his own party who haven't backed him on health care.

At a recent White House meeting, the President predicted that Sen. Dean Heller, who is facing a tough re-election fight in 2018, would reverse himself and vote to advance the GOP's health care bill.

"He wants to remain a senator, doesn't he?" Trump said, with the Nevada Republican sitting beside him and laughing. Heller voted in support of the motion to proceed, though he later said in a statement that "if the the final product isn't improved for the state of Nevada, then I will not vote for it."

Back in March, Trump called out House members when the chamber was debating the issue.

"The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!" Trump tweeted.

He added: "Where are @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador? #RepealANDReplace #Obamacare."

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