sen. susan collins

Call on Your Senator and Demand they Defeat Trumpcare

The Senate is planning to vote on (and pass) Trumpcare before the July 4th recess. Indivisible advises that you call your Senator and ask to speak to their Health Legislative Assistant, then ask that they vote NO on Trumpcare.

The swing votes below:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK) - HLA, Morgan Griffin (202) 224-6665
Sen. Cory Gardner (CO) - HLA, Alison Toal (202) 224-5941
Sen. Bill Cassidy (LA) - HLA, Matt Gallivan (202) 224-5824
Sen. Susan Collins (ME) - HLA, Amy Pellegrino (202) 224-2523
Sen. Dean Heller (NV) - HLA, Rachel Green (202) 224-6244
Sen. Rob Portman (OH) - HLA, Sarah Schmidt (202) 224-3353
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (WV) - HLA, Dana Richter (202) 224-6472

Some shit that went down today, September 25th, 2017: Day 249
A few words on Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in case you wanna throw her some support.

Two Republicans voted against the party’s efforts to repeal Obamacare on Tuesday and Trump, petty orange baby that he is, obviously had something to say about it.

President Donald Trump made clear his dissatisfaction with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) Wednesday, when he tweeted that she let down her party and the nation by voting against Republicans’ attempts to repeal Obamacare.

But apparently Trump’s public disapproval is not the only way the administration plans to make his anger known.

The Alaska Dispatch News reported Wednesday night that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called Murkowski and fellow Alaskan Sen. Dan Sullivan ® after Tuesday’s health care vote to let them know her position had put some of their state-specific projects in jeopardy ― particularly those pertaining to energy.

Sullivan told the outlet that Zinke’s phone call carried a “troubling message,” and the interior secretary made it clear to him that the call was in response to Murkowski voting no on the motion to proceed on Tuesday.

She was only one of two Republicans, along with Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), to break from party lines on the vote.

(cont. HuffPo

Some people feel you don’t really have to praise someone for doing the right things.  If that’s you, then you can stop here and read something else.

Others feel that when politicians stand up for what’s right, possibly at the expense of their political livelihood, we should show our support.  If that’s you, feel free to read on so you can see what Murkowski is about.

Keep reading

These Are The Senators To Call About The New GOP Effort To Repeal Obamacare

Sen. Susan Collins, ME: (202) 224-2523

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, AK: (202) 224-6665

Sen. John McCain, AZ: (202) 224-2235

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, WV: (202) 224-6472

Sen. Rob Portman, OH: (202) 224-3353

Sen. Cory Gardner, CO: (202) 224-5941

Sen. Lamar Alexander, TN: (202) 224-4944

Sen. Jerry Moran, KS: (202) 224-6521

Sen. Tom Cotton, AR: (202) 224-2353

Sen. Joni Ernst, IA: (202) 224-3254

Sen. Thom Tillis, NC: (202) 224-6342

Sen. John Hoeven, ND: (202) 224-2551

Sen. John Kennedy, LA: (202) 224-4623

Sen. Ron Johnson, WI: (202) 224-5323

Sen. Mike Rounds, SD: (202) 224-5842

Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ: (202) 224-4521

Sen. Dean Heller, NV: (202) 224-6244

Remember to call only the people representing you. Unless you can provide a zip code, which proves you’re one of the senator’s constituent, your call will not be tallied.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski said Wednesday they will vote against Education Department nominee Betsy DeVos, leaving her with no votes to spare to survive a looming confirmation vote.

No Democrats are expected to vote for DeVos, while a handful of other Republican senators remain undecided. She needs at least 50 votes to win confirmation and there are just 52 GOP senators. Still, senior leadership aides remain confident that DeVos will prevail.

“This is not a decision I make lightly. I have a great deal of respect for Mrs. DeVos,” Collins said on the floor on Wednesday. “I will not, can not vote to confirm her.”

In an interview, Collins said that she will allow DeVos to advance to a final vote, before opposing her. Likewise, Murkowski said she will oppose Collins on final passage, a shocking rebellion against President Donald Trump that rippled through the Capitol.

“I have heard from thousands, truly, thousands of Alaskans who have shared their concerns about Mrs. DeVos,“ Murkowski said. “I do not intend to vote on final passage to support Mrs. DeVos.”

DeVos, a GOP megadonor and education advocate who has long pushed for charter schools and K-12 tuition vouchers using public funds, has encountered criticism from both parties since Trump nominated her.

I swear, [the Office of Management and Budget] just went through and whenever there was ‘grant,’ they just X it out. With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It’s just incredibly irresponsible
—  Sen. Susan Collins, on the Trump budget process
BREAKING: Senate GOP, White House plan final, urgent blitz to pass health-care law
President Trump, Vice President Pence will engage heavily over the next two weeks in hopes of passing legislation before the month-long August recess.

The White House and Senate Republican leaders are planning a final, urgent blitz to pressure reluctant GOP senators to pass an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act before their month-long August recess.

Aware that the next 14 days probably represent their last chance to salvage their flagging endeavor, President Trump, Vice President Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) intend to single out individual senators and escalate a broad defense of the evolving proposal, according to Republicans familiar with their plans.

When Trump returns from Europe, he plans to counter the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the legislation — which shows that 22 million fewer peoplewould have insurance coverage by 2026 than under the current law — with figures and analyses from conservative groups and Republicans that show more benefits and less disruption, should the bill pass, according to a White House official familiar with the strategy.

Pence, meanwhile, is being asked to help bring along skeptical GOP senators, including Sen. Dean Heller (Nev.), to whom he has already reached out personally.

McConnell is expected to place greater responsibility on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to pitch his controversial amendment that would allow insurers to offer plans that don’t meet ACA requirements — provided they also offer some that do. McConnell could ask Cruz to speak to Republican senators as soon as Tuesday, according to a person familiar with his strategy. Cruz has often talked about his amendment in the senators’ regular Tuesday lunches, but the burden of building support for the bill could be left to the firebrand conservative.

The plans, which the Republicans described on the condition of anonymity, reflect the immense pressure GOP leaders feel as they aim to bring their bill to a vote on the Senate floor the week after next.

It is far from clear that the strategy will work. Even as Trump has sought to complement McConnell’s efforts with his own, he has also complicated the majority leader’s life — most notably urging a voteon strictly repealing the law if the current effort is unsuccessful. McConnell has floated a different backup plan: working with Democrats to stabilize the insurance markets.

The biggest challenge the leaders face is the widespread disagreement among Republican senators about how the nation’s health-care laws should be structured, as well as frustration about the secretive process McConnell used to craft his bill. It was that anger and discord that spoiled McConnell’s plan to vote on the bill before the Fourth of July recess and forced him to rewrite his draft.

“It may be that there is another discussion draft. If there is, I can’t tell you what’s in it. That’s what happens when you don’t have an open process,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Friday at an event with constituents in Homer, Alaska.

Murkowski is one of several key moderate senators whom McConnell desperately needs to win over with his next draft, the details of which could be released as soon as early next week. He can afford to lose only two of the 52 Republican senators if he hopes to pass the bill. No Democrats plan to vote for the measure, but Pence is ready to cast a tiebreaking vote if needed.

McConnell must also woo recalcitrant conservatives who came out against the initial draft the day it was released. They include Cruz, who has been pushing his amendment as a means of winning his own vote as well as those of his conservative allies.

“It adds additional choices so that people who can’t afford insurance now will be able to purchase some form of insurance that they want, that they desire, that helps meet their needs,” Cruz said Thursday at a town hall in Austin hosted by Concerned Veterans for America, a group backed by the billionaire conservative Koch brothers.

But Cruz’s amendment has drawn concern from critics who worry that it would destabilize the risk pool that brings together healthy and sick individuals, and that it could mean higher coverage costs for less-healthy people.

“There’s a real feeling that that’s subterfuge to get around preexisting conditions,” said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), according to Iowa Public Radio. “If it is subterfuge and it has the effect of annihilating the preexisting-condition requirement that we have in the existing bill, then obviously I would object to that.”

It’s not yet clear whether Cruz’s proposal would be allowed under arcane Senate rules that Republicans are using to pass their bill with a simple majority rather than the supermajority required of most legislation. It’s also unclear what the impact would be on coverage levels or the deficit. The CBO is reviewing it along with other proposed changes, according to Republicans familiar with the situation. To some in McConnell’s orbit, Cruz is taking a risk by waging such a public campaign for his measure before those aspects are determined.

Cruz stands to be left responsible for the success or failure of a conservative amendment that could alienate other Republicans or undermine the special protections allowing the bill to pass along GOP party lines.

A Cruz spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

GOP leaders are also trying to win the support of Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), two Cruz allies who also opposed the draft legislation.

Inside the West Wing, Trump associates are working closely with McConnell’s legislative aides to track Republican senators. White House legislative director Marc Short speaks regularly with McConnell chief of staff Sharon Soderstrom and with GOP Senate leaders to hear their concerns, according to two Republicans involved in the discussions.

But while the relationship between the White House and McConnell’s operation has been tight, it is far from the only nexus driving the process.

Other influential White House figures, such as chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, have their own networks of friendly lawmakers and aides on Capitol Hill, at times vexing the McConnell orbit as it tries to hold together the Senate Republican conference. Bannon, for instance, has built a strong rapport with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, who is known for telling the White House what could or could not pass muster among his colleagues in the House even as the Senate leadership toils over the bill.

McConnell’s proposal to work with Democrats if things fall apart could be an equally stiff challenge, given the intense partisanship that has gripped lawmakers in recent years. Nevertheless, some Republicans are hopeful.

Murkowski said she has personally contacted Democrats to see whether they might be more willing partners in fixing the health-care system in a way that fits the needs of her state. She is one of a number of rank-and-file Republicans who are warming to the idea of abandoning plans for repeal and working with Democrats to fix the existing system.

This week, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), another critic of the GOP bill, said she had also been in contact with Democrats who say they are waiting for McConnell to abandon repeal so they can move on to work with moderate Republicans on bipartisan health-care legislation.

“I had one Democratic senator call me last Thursday morning at 6:54 a.m. and say to me, ‘I really want to negotiate, but until this bill fails I’m prohibited from doing so,’ ” Collins said in an interview.

McConnell’s troubles have spread in recent weeks from the roughly half-dozen early GOP skeptics on either ideological flank. Even reliable leadership allies such as Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) have raised questions about the bill. Moran was the only Republican senator to face constituents at an unregulated town hall meeting this week, and he found himself flooded with voters demanding that he not support the Senate bill.

“I think there are many senators — more senators than are having town hall meetings — more senators out there who have genuine concerns with this legislation,” Moran told reporters after the meeting.
Collins’ opposition dooms latest Obamacare repeal effort
Three GOP senators have come out against the Graham-Cassidy bill, dealing a fatal blow to the plan.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is still opposed to the bill, an aide said on Monday morning. Arizona Sen. John McCain also has not changed his position, which hardened on Friday into a “no” vote against his close friend Graham’s legislation.

Later Monday, Maine Sen. Susan Collins also said she would vote against it.

And though the latest changes to the bill are intended to woo Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, she has yet to get on board.
They Never Really Hated Obamacare
That’s why they couldn’t kill it.

An opinion piece conjecturing that republicans didn’t fail because of procedural hurdles or party infighting. They failed because they didn’t actually mind the law, at least a portion of them.

In the end, most Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare, but only a few of them had their hearts in it. Many of them are and will be privately thanking Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain for falling on the grenade, even if it’s embarrassing for the party in the moment. Seven years of opportunistic, cynical campaigning about how repealing Obamacare would solve all of the country’s health care woes nearly led the party to enact catastrophically unpopular policy to make good on a lie. They should be grateful to get off so easy.

Gosh I’m so glad Senator McCain pleasantly surprised me but listen: Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska ( R ) and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine ( R ) also voted “no” (they’ve been saying “no” from the start) and let’s not forget SENATOR MAZIE HIRONO OF HAWAI'I ( D ) who is also battling late-stage cancer and FLEW OUT FROM HAWAI'I TO D.C. (nearly a 10 hour flight fun fact) to vote “no.” So, yeah, the pageantry of it all and the gasps were fun and satisfying but it doesn’t rectify a steady stream of voting for the foundations of a nightmare realm, and is not the pinnacle of being a politician that cares about their constituents. BIG thank you’s and respect to Sens. Hirono, Collins and Murkowski.
Maine just resoundingly became the first state to expand Medicaid by ballot initiative
It's a big thumb in the eye to Republicans, who have spent the past year trying to cut Obamacare and Medicaid.

Less than two months after Republicans’ latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act imploded, a purple state just made a decidedly blue-state move to essentially expand Obamacare.

On Tuesday, Maine became the first state to expand Medicaid with a ballot initiative. And it passed overwhelmingly: Maine voters agreed to grant health care to an estimated 70,000 low-income residents by a nearly 20-percentage point margin by the time the measure was called by election watchers. In other words, a sizable number of voters in Maine just voted to do the exact opposite of what the state’s Republican governor and Republicans in Washington have been trying to do.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bipartisan legislative deal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act at least five times. Since Republicans took control of Washington in January, they’ve spent more than half the year trying to repeal Obamacare with proposals that would have drastically cut Medicaid. But Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins ® was one of the defining “no” votes that ultimately ended the GOP efforts, saying the plans would pull the rug out from too many in her state.

A (short) list of Republicans in Congress who have criticized Trump’s immigration order

1. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)

2. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

3. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)

4. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)

5. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

6. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Those are isolated cases (at least so far). The GOP leadership in Congress has largely lined up behind Trump on this — or at least stayed very quiet. No one who’s been paying attention should be surprised by this — “the party has largely fallen in line behind their president ever since the election.
Post-blizzard, Sen. Murkowski notes that only women turned up to run the Senate
"Perhaps it speaks to the hardiness of women," she says.

“As we convene this morning, you look around the chamber, the presiding officer is female. All of our parliamentarians are female. Our floor managers are female. All of our pages are female.”

Murkowski noted that she and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was wielding the Senate gavel, hadn’t planned the all-women session. It was, she said, just a coincidence.

“Something is genuinely different — and something is genuinely fabulous,” Murkowski said.