UPDATE: Murkowski reacts to Trump saying she 'let the country down'
Following a tweet made earlier on Wednesday by President Trump, national attention has fallen on Alaska and one of its senators. Now, the Senator is reacting to the president's tweet.
In an email, Sen. Murkowski’s spokesperson, Karina Petersen, said that the vote was reflective of what the senator believes to be right.
"As far as a reaction to the tweet," Petersen wrote, "Senator Murkowski continues to reiterate that she believes she is doing what's right for Alaska and the nation."
When reporters in Washington asked Murkowski if she felt Trump's tweets about her would hinder her prospects of re-election, she said it was not wise to operate being "fearful of your electoral prospects."
"Every day shouldn't be about winning elections," she said. "How about just doing a little bit of governing around here. That's what I'm here for."
President Donald Trump early Wednesday morning blasted Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, for
“Senator Lisa Murkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too bad!” Trump said on Twitter.
Murkowski was one of two Republicans who on Tuesday voted against allowing debate of GOP legislation to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act. Murkowski's colleague, Senator Dan Sullivan, voted along party lines to support the proposal, saying it will give lawmakers plenty of time to develop a new healthcare system that's more affordable to Alaskans.
"The process going forward is completely open. We are now debating it. It's bipartisan," Sullivan said. "Democrats, Republicans can bring as many amendments to the floor as they want. We're likely to bring different iterations of the Senate bill."
The final tally was 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie.
Trump has been pushing lawmakers to deliver on their promises to repeal and replace. But whether Republicans can find consensus remains unclear.
Murkowski on Tuesday defended her decision, saying she still thinks major healthcare reform should so through the committee process.
“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,” Murkowski wrote. “I still believe that’s the best route, but we will now have this debate on the open floor.”
Sen. Murkowski’s decision also drew criticism from the Alaska GOP.
“When the vote is whether or not to keep moving forward on a repeal, you just must vote yes,” said Alaska GOP chairman Tuckerman Babcock. “That’s the commitment and the promise that was made, and that’s what the American people have every right to expect from Republicans.”