Murkowski Misses Vote On Anti-Discrimination Bill

Monday night, the U.S. Senate voted to move ahead with a bill to protect gay people from workplace discrimination.

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Sponsors expected Sen. Lisa Murkowski to be one of a handful of Republicans who would help them get the 60 votes needed to proceed. But Murkowski was absent.

“I had made a commitment to be in Midland, Texas, looking at how Midland and some of the operators in Midland are responding to this amazing, extraordinary boom in oil shale production,” Murkowski said.

A spokesman said she also attended a fundraiser in Texas. She says when she found out the Senate was going to take a rare Monday vote she tried to get back in time but didn’t make it.

The anti-discrimination bill cleared the 60-vote hurdle without her. It is expected to pass the Senate, and Murkowski says she looks forward to voting for it.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at Read more about Liz here.

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