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By Phillip Stucky
Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean invited Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski to the Democratic Party after she was threatened by members of the Trump administration for her vote on the health care bill.
“Lisa Murkowski would be welcomed as a Moderate Democrat!” the former governor said early Thursday morning. “What has Trump ever done for Alaska?”
Lisa Murkowski would be welcomed as a Moderate Democrat!! What has Trump ever done for Alaska? https://t.co/1op0KUXJkm
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) July 27, 2017
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke allegedly called Murkowski and fellow Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska to warn the pair that, if they voted against the measure, the administration was prepared to punish Alaskans, according to the report. Murkowski voted against allowing a debate on the motion.
President Donald Trump then got involved, tweeting his disapproval Wednesday.
“Senator Lisa Murkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too Bad!” Trump tweeted.
“We’re here to govern. We’re here to legislate. We’re here to represent the people that sent us here,” the senator responded.
She said that she voted against the debate as a result of the proposed cuts to Medicaid, a program for the poor that many Alaskans use in rural parts of the state.
“I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs, and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop,” Sullivan told the Alaska Dispatch News. “I tried to push back on behalf of all Alaskans … We’re facing some difficult times and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the policies that Secretary Zinke and the president have been talking about with regard to our economy.”