Sen. Lisa Murkowski told reporters on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, that the outlook for the upper chamber is “dismal” with the two parties headed for a showdown over voting rights and filibuster rules later in the evening.
“Maybe what has to happen is we just have to completely go off the edge, the train has to go off the cliff before you get the rescue crew down below trying to salvage things,” Murkowski told reporters, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic. “I don’t know.”
The Alaska Republican has built a reputation as one of the Senate’s few remaining centrists. She was the only Republican to support Democrats’ 2020 efforts to restore key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that the Supreme Court has weakened over time. Like all other GOP senators, she opposes Democrats’ efforts to weaken the filibuster in order to pass voting rights legislation.
“I question whether or not changing the rules actually works to change the attitude,” Murkowski said on the floor earlier on Wednesday. “It is much easier to try to do things alone than to try to build consensus.”
Murkowski also opposed her party’s efforts to repeal Obamacare, refused to support Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and was one of seven Republicans to vote to convict former President Donald Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection. She is also one of the few remaining pro-abortion rights Republicans.
Murkowski, who previously won reelection on a write-in campaign, stated last year that she will run again in 2022. Trump has vowed to try to oust her from her seat.
Murkowski is not the only one to express a dour outlook either. Later on Wednesday, Democrats failed in their efforts to pass voting rights legislation.