Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Alaska US Senator Murkowski Shows She is a True Champion

The US Senate vote to invoke cloture on Elizabeth Warren's proposed legislation related to the Refinancing of Student Loans was just held and fell just several votes short of the 60 needed to pass.

There were 3 Republican Senators who had the courage to vote with the Democrats.....Maine's Susan Collins, Tennessee's Bob Corker and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski.

Anyone watching the vote on C-Span could clearly hear what Alaska US Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said to the Republican Tennessee US Senator Lamar Alexander who led the Republican opposition before Murkowski cast her vote.  The microphone was inadvertently left on on the US Senate floor.

Murkowski patted Alexander on the arm and said something like the following to him..... "I'm sorry but I can't vote with you on this one.  I got just too many letters going the other way."

It should be easy for anyone to retrieve Murkowski's precise wording here since it is available in the public record.

But what a refreshing thing to hear.....someone in the US Congress who gives thoughtful consideration to what the clear majority of her constituents believe.

What that tells me is that letters to some US Senators can have an impact.  I do think the impact of emails is overstated.  But constituents writing many different thoughtful letters to some open-minded US Senators can have an impact.

And I also thought that Republican Tennessee US Senator Bob Corker showed a lot of courage and independent thought here in voting with the Democrats, especially given that the Republican US Senator leading the opposition was Tennessee's other Republican US Senator Lamar Alexander.