Lisa Murkowski

GOP Power Play in Hurricane-Ravaged Puerto Rico
Conditional funding gains support amid talk of new Marshall Plan

Workers in Caguas, south of San Juan, Puerto Rico, repair electrical lines on Oct. 25, more than a month after Hurricane Maria hit the island. (Ramon Tonito Zayas/AP file photo)

In late September, just over a week after winds of 155 miles per hour flattened homes and struck down power lines and more than 30 inches of rain inundated parts of the island of Puerto Rico, a leader of the recovery efforts with the Army Corps of Engineers offered his blunt assessment of the damage.

“This is a massive undertaking, one in which I don’t think we’ve undertaken before in terms of this magnitude,” Col. James DeLapp told CNN. The closest thing he could think of by way of comparison? “When the Army Corps led the effort to restore … electricity in the early stages of the Iraq war in 2003 and 2004.”

Tax Overhaul's Arctic Drilling Byrd Problems Resolved
Murkowski says Republicans drafted fixes to technical concerns

Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, right, have been working through the snags with their tax bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:45 p.m. | Most of the focus has been on taxes, but the portion of the Senate reconciliation bill that would open up drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge needed to be revised, too.

Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the fixes that are being worked out for Byrd violations in her portion of the bill would be added to a substitute to be offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

CBO: Insurance Market Stabilization Impact Null If Mandate Repealed

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Legislation from the duo at the helm of the Senate health panel would do little to improve the number of uninsured individuals if the mandate created by the 2010 health law is repealed, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

A repeal of the mandate — which requires individuals to purchase insurance or pay a yearly fine — is currently included in the GOP bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Roberts' Phone Rings During Hearing
 

Trump Lobbies GOP on Tax Bill, But McConnell Still Needs Votes
During turbulent day, White House tries to get a legislative win

President Donald Trump arrives on Tuesday with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol to discuss a tax overhaul bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump lobbied GOP senators behind closed doors Tuesday to support a tax overhaul bill that is key to his agenda, but the chamber’s leading Republican indicated afterward he is still searching for the votes to pass it.

Trump returned to Capitol Hill for the third time in four weeks to sell Republican members on the House and Senate versions of GOP tax plan. But this time, he also went to try and wrangle the remaining holdouts to secure the 50 votes needed to pass the bill later this week. (Vice President Mike Pence could cast the 51st and decisive vote.)

Podcast: Tax Bills Stir Anxiety in Largest Generation — Millennials
The Week Ahead, Episode 80

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski faces a tax plan conundrum with a clash between two of her key policy goals — drilling in ANWR and protecting access to health care back home. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Millennials are the largest living generation and are just starting their careers, so the GOP’s tax plan would affect them all of their working lives. They’re concerned about the proposed changes to the tax treatment of housing, education, health care and income, says CQ reporter Laura Weiss.

Show Notes:

Thanksgiving Ads Served as Prelude to Senate Tax Debate
Outside spending pushed Republicans in all directions

Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson looks on during the markup of the tax bill in the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If all goes according to plan for Senate Republicans, they will pass a sweeping tax overhaul through the chamber before leaving for the weekend.

But as they and President Donald Trump learned during the Senate’s health care reconciliation exercise, getting to 50 votes can be difficult.

Give Trump a Chance, Alexander Says
Tennessee Republican strikes tone of harmony as Senate GOP tries to pass tax code overhaul

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he would continue working with the Trump administration to advance the GOP agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump was elected by the American people to navigate the U.S. through uncertain times, Sen. Lamar Alexander said Monday, and lawmakers should “give the president a chance.”

The Tennessee Republican told CNBC that while Trump “does things and says things that I don’t do, and that I don’t approve of,” he is the person that Americans “entrusted with the presidency, and I’m going to try to help him succeed.”

For Murkowski, Tax Overhaul Isn’t Just Business. It’s Personal
Inclusion of ANWR drilling could put her in new Alaska league

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski faces a conundrum with a clash between two of her key policy goals — drilling in ANWR and protecting access to health care back home. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Twelve years ago, Sen. Lisa Murkowski sat at the breakfast table with her youngest son, who was in junior high school at the time. It was a big day. The chamber was set to vote on opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling, a priority of Alaska lawmakers for the previous three decades.

“My son looks up at me and he says, ‘Mom, I thought grandpa passed ANWR years ago,”’ the Republican senator recalled recently in her Hart Building office, referencing her father, former Sen. Frank H. Murkowski. “You have to kind of say, ‘Well, yeah, they kinda passed it, but it didn’t really pass. And so it’s back before us again and we’re going at it.’”

Murkowski Suggests Tax Vote Depends on Stabilizing Individual Health Insurance Market
Alaska Republican says Alexander-Murray bill is needed before mandate repeal

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted against the GOP health care bill in July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski suggested Thursday that her vote on the current version of the Senate GOP tax overhaul is contingent on the passing of a separate bill to stabilize the individual health insurance market.

The tax legislation now includes a section to repeal the individual mandate in the 2010 health care law — a provision that opens up more than $300 billion in revenue — but could also threaten the viability of the overall law.