Those impeachment hearings? Alaska’s congressional delegation isn’t watching

Alaska’s congressional delegation. Photos by Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media and Skip Gray/360 North

The three members of Alaska’s delegation to Congress say they’ve been too busy with their regular duties to closely follow the hearings in the House impeachment inquiry.

“I’m getting the readout at the end of the day,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, referring to summaries written by staff members who are monitoring the proceedings.

She also said she listened on Saturday to radio accounts of last week’s testimony.

“The Hill” quoted Murkowski last week saying “Alaskans are not paying much attention to the House impeachment drama.” 

She said Monday that she checks in with her front desk staff, in Washington and back home, and she checks the mail. Some Alaskans are weighing in, Murkowski said.

“But it’s not like what we were seeing, say for instance during the ACA, or certainly not Kavanaugh or DeVos, where we just had a huge deluge of Alaskans calling in on an almost daily basis.”

She was referring to debates over the Affordable Care Act, and two of President Trump’s more controversial nominees: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Likewise, Sen. Dan Sullivan says he’s busy with bills he’s trying to pass.

“So that’s what I’ve been focused on and really haven’t seen much besides what’s on the news at night,” he said.

If the House votes to approve articles of impeachment against President Trump, the senators will act as jurors in deciding whether to remove Trump from office. A spokeswoman for Murkowski says all the information will be presented to senators at that trial.

Alaska’s lone House member, Congressman Don Young, hasn’t said how or if he’s following the hearings, or news accounts and summaries of them. His office sent an email saying only that the impeachment proceedings don’t dictate Young’s schedule.

“It’s business as usual for the Congressman for all Alaska,” the email says.