Jul 26, 2017

Murkowski explains why she voted against the GOP health bill

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of two Republicans to vote "no" on the Senate's motion to start the health care debate last night, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote. President Trump, who described the two "no" votes as "very sad," singled out Murkowski in a Wednesday morning tweet, saying that she "let the Republicans, and our country down yesterday. Too bad!"

Murkowski said Tuesday that her decision to vote no was a last-minute one, and at the end of the day, her loyalty to "the process" won out, per Alaska Dispatch News. Murkowski added that Sen. John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and received a standing ovation for flying in from Arizona just to vote "yes" on the motion, told her that despite that their disagreements, she "did the right thing."

As for facing pushback from Alaska Republicans? "I base my votes on what I believe is in Alaska's best interest," she said. "So I know that there are those who wish that I would be more in line with following the party platform, but I don't think it should come as any surprise that there have been occasions that I have not followed the lead of the party."She added: "Based on where it was when it was released by the leadership, it still had not addressed many of the issues that we have in Alaska," such as ensuring coverage for those struggling in poverty.

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Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.