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Alayna Treene Feb 23, 2017
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Senate Republican won't vote to repeal Medicaid expansion

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski told Alaska lawmakers on Wednesday that she "will not support a reckless repeal process" of Obamacare, emphasizing that she would fight the repeal of Medicaid expansion — a key component of the health care law — as long as the state legislature wants to keep it, per Alaska Dispatch News.

Murkowski said that although she was concerned about the long-term cost of the expanded Medicaid program, she also recognized that it has strengthened Alaska's Native health care system and reduced the number of uninsured people visiting emergency rooms.

QuoteSo as long as this Legislature wants to keep the expansion, Alaska should have that option.

Why it matters: Senate Republicans can't afford to lose votes on Obamacare repeal. If they lose three, they can't pass it.

Axios 54 mins ago
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Lauren Meier 11 mins ago
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Haspel cleared in probe on destruction of waterboarding tapes

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A man crosses the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seal. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Amid controversy over President Trump's pick for Secretary of State, former CIA director Mike Pompeo, the spy agency has released a declassified memo to lawmakers that show Trump's pick to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, was cleared of wrongdoing in the destruction of videotapes showing terror suspects being waterboarded after 9/11, the AP reports.

Why it matters: Haspel has been met with stark criticism from Democrats and human rights groups, in an attempt to block her nomination to head the CIA, for events related to her time running one of the CIA's "black site" prisons in Thailand where Al Qaeda terror suspects were subjected to torture techniques, including waterboarding. Per the AP, the memo "did not satisfy opponents who want to know more details about her three-decade CIA career."