Player of the Week: Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump budget includes proposal for US Consulate in Greenland Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (R-Alaska) is seeking votes this week for her amendment that would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from addressing climate change/global warming through rulemaking. Supporters of Murkowski’s measure, which is scheduled to hit the floor on Thursday, contend that Congress, not the EPA, needs to address carbon emissions.

The Obama administration and some Senate Democrats disagree. EPA, through regulatory maneuvers, has sent a clear message to Capitol Hill: Pass climate change, or we will.

ADVERTISEMENT

That has not sat well with Murkowski, who has 41 backers of her amendment, including three Democrats (Sens. Blanche Lincoln, Ark., Ben Nelson, Neb., and Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE, La.).

In some ways, this debate is Republicans versus the Obama administration. In other ways, however, it’s a separation-of-powers clash between the legislative and executive branches.



Murkowski’s measure is not going to become law anytime soon. It has a chance to pass the Senate, but faces murky prospects in the House and would surely be vetoed by Obama. However, passage through the Senate would be a huge win for Murkowski and would send a strong message to the White House.

But there is more than one reason that Murkowski is our Player of the Week.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) last week endorsed Tea Party candidate Joe Miller over Murkowski for the GOP primary this August.

There is no love lost between Murkowski and Palin. The former vice presidential nominee upended Murkowski’s father in a 2006 GOP primary. And after Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman Overnight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed MORE (R-Ariz.) and Palin lost the presidential race, there was speculation that Palin would take on Murkowski this year.

Murkowski is a clear favorite to retain her seat, but Palin’s endorsement will make her reelection campaign more challenging.

And Murkowski’s vote to support the 2008 bailout bill will hamper her effort to get reelected — even though McCain and Palin also supported the controversial measure.