TRUMP HINTS SENATOR TREATED HIM ‘BADLY’ ON OBAMACARE VOTE
President Donald Trump this morning at a major conservative convention in Maryland, hinted that someone had treated him badly, and he almost didn’t sign off on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because of it.
The Conservative Political Action Conference is the largest annual gathering of the American Conservative Union, attracting thousands of attendees.
“One of the other things we did in our tax package is ANWR,” he said about 45 minutes into his over two-hour speech. “Perhaps the largest field in the world, oil and gas. I got it approved. And I didn’t want to get it approved for a certain reason because I thought somebody treated me very badly. Very badly. Don’t get that vote very often.”
“That vote” was likely the one cast by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted against the repeal of Obamacare in 2017. Murkowski was one of three Republicans to vote against it; the others were Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
Repealing Obamacare is not only one of Trump’s priorities, but is also a priority of the Republican Party nationally and in Alaska. Just before this section of his speech, Trump had been talking about Obamacare.
Murkowski has advocated for the opening of ANWR’s oil patch in the 1002 Area of the Coastal Plain.
“And I said, you know, I don’t want to…” Trump continued in his speech, indicating his ambivalence. But then Trump said he got a call from someone in the oil business he’d known for a long time, who wasn’t asking for anything but convinced him to sign off on opening the 1002 Area of ANWR. His speech drifted off into some personal stories at that point.
What’s interesting is that Murkowski voted against Obamacare before the tax package that contained the ANWR legislation was passed back in 2017, and two years later Trump remembers her vote and has an opinion about it.
The portion of the video where he talks about nearly not signing off on ANWR because of his unhappiness with “someone” is at the 45:30 minute mark and lasts about a minute:
Trump is also still irritated with Murkowski over her vote against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and has said in other venues she will face voter wrath when she comes up for reelection in 2022.
Meanwhile, the lease sales for the 1002 Area of ANWR would follow the closing of the public comment period, which ends on March 13. The first lease sale could offer some 400,000 acres for bid.