Republicans May Strip Murkowski of Place on Energy Committee

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

Senate Republicans will likely strip Senator Murkowski of her ranking position on the Energy Committee, as punishment for her decision to run a write-in campaign.

Murkowski lost the GOP primary last month, but says she’s still a Republican.  That’s not enough for party members in the Senate who are backing primary winner Joe Miller.

Wednesday afternoon, Republican Senators will meet behind closed doors to vote on whether to take away Murkowski’s powerful position as their top member on the energy committee.  It’s been a plum seat, especially for an Alaskan legislator, weighing-in on oil and gas issues and renewable energy legislation.

The other nine Republican members are expected to recommend the move.  Murkowski would still sit on the committee, just not as one of its leaders.

She already resigned from her leadership role as Vice Chair of the Senate Republican Conference – after pressure from GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell told reporters Tuesday that Republicans will choose tomorrow who will replace her in the top inner circle of Republican leaders.

Lisa Murkowski is not in Washington this week, so she won’t be at tomorrow’s meeting.  She decided to stay in Alaska to campaign, which is not usual for embattled candidates. She was the only member of the Senate who missed today’s vote on whether to bring to the floor the Defense Authorization Bill, which included the controversial Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Murkowski’s vote was not seen as crucial or a swing vote, because all Republicans voted “no.”

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