Alaska Republican Sen Lisa Murkowski criticised House Republicans opening an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, saying it distracts from Congress’ attempts to keep the government open.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced on Tuesday that Republicans would open an impeachment inquiry into Mr Biden despite the fact little evidence exists that Mr Biden directly benefited from the business dealings of his son Hunter Biden.
But Ms Murkowski told The Independent that the impeachment process distracts from Congress’ ability to pass appropriations bills.
“Yes,” she said. “That’s the easy answer.”
The US government is set to run out of money on 30 September. The Senate is currently in the process of approving the 12 appropriations bills needed to keep the government open.
Ms Murkowski voted against convicting former president Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial. But she voted to convict Mr Trump for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot. Mr Trump later endorsed a Republican challenger to Ms Murkowski last year but Ms Murkowski won re-election under Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system.
Ms Murkowski was evasive when first asked about Republicans opening an inquiry into Mr Biden.
“We'll see what happens next,” she said. “I think I think there is certainly a lot of attention focused on Hunter Biden.”
The Alaska Republican is often considered a moderate who has regularly worked with the Biden administration. She has voted to confirm many of his Cabinet nominees and Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. She also collaborated with Democrats to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Ms Murkowski said she was worried that the threshold for impeachment was being lowered.
“Seems like that. Whenever we have different presidents, that opposing party is going to figure out a way to move towards impeachment, rightly or wrongly,” she said.
Ms Murkowski told reporters that the impeachment inquiry immediately changed what questions she was asked.
“I think this is exactly what we’re seeing,” she said. “The conversation today is entirely different than what I was being asked yesterday.”
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