Murkowski says latest healthcare repeal effort failed from 'lousy' vote process

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - In a statement released today, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) said she needs more time and information before she could sign off on a bill like the Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal.

Her statement, embedded in full below, comes after a prolonged lack of committal from Murkowski when asked multiple times for comment on the bill. At that time, the senator did not take a firm stance on the bill one way or another.

Now, in the statement issued by Murkowski's public affairs via email, she has spoken on some of the primary failings she saw in the Graham-Cassidy bill, and what she had been working to determine before either providing or withholding her support.

Notably, Murkowski said that the process by which the bill was presented for a vote was "lousy," citing the logistics involved. "The U.S. Senate cannot get the text of a bill on a Sunday night, then proceed to a vote just days later, with only one hearing – and especially not on an issue that is intensely personal to all of us," Murkowski wrote.


Ahead of her prepared statement issued Tuesday morning, Murkowski answered CNN reporters who asked her about her voting plans, stating that she did not believe there even would be a vote on the bill.

In a phone interview with KTUU on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence said he was "still very hopeful that we can earn Senator Murkowski's support" when asked what the outcome for Alaska would be if Murkowski cast another pivotal 'no' vote.

This time, Murkowski outlasted the requests for an indication on if she would vote 'no' again.

Instead, it was Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky who said they would vote no. This, combined with a lack of any support from the Democrat side, effectively would kill the bill.

As for whether this is the end to the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as "Obamacare," that remains to be seen.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that they had not given up on changing the American health care system, but did say, "We aren't going to be able to do it this week."

More information on the national level regarding the Graham-Cassidy bill can be found here, with updating information from the Associated Press.

A full transcript of the interview between KTUU and Vice President Mike Pence can be found here.