A lot of people are talking about John McCain’s “no” vote on “skinny” repeal. But this is more interesting:
A lot of the media coverage in the wake of the vote will focus on McCain, because he’s the most famous, and Collins was always going to vote â€œno.â€ But Murkowskiâ€™s opposition was equally decisive and perhaps most illustrative of the problems ahead for Trump.
Trump, who won Alaska by 15 points, ripped the stateâ€™s senior senator on Twitter Wednesday after she opposed a key procedural motion to open debate on health care:
The crowd in Ohio was amazing last night – broke all records. We all had a great time in a great State. Will be back soon!
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Later that day, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called Murkowski and the stateâ€™s other Republican senator, Dan Sullivan, toÂ threatenÂ that the Trump administration may change its position on several issues that affect the state to punish Murkowski, such as blocking energy exploration and plans to allow the construction of new roads. â€œThe message was pretty clear,â€ Sullivan toldÂ the Alaska Dispatch News.
Nevertheless, Murkowski persisted. In fact, she took it one step further and demonstrated that she has more leverage over Zinke than he has over her. As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Murkowski indefinitely postponed a nominations markup that the Interior Department badly wants.
And the moral is …
Only an amateur would threaten the person who has oversight over his agency!
Note thatÂ Murkowski isn’t up for re-election until 2022.