Murkowski: "We need healing"

Murkowski bluntly described the current state of Congress as “pretty contentious, partisan, pointed, divisive … it is not a good time in the legislative branch. There’s not a lot of public confidence in us at this time.” She described her decision to cast a “present” vote on Saturday, offsetting the absence of pro-Kavanaugh Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) due to his daughter’s wedding, as a step toward soothing the “pretty raw” feelings in the chamber.

The Alaskan has taken heat from the right for her opposition to Kavanaugh and become a champion for his critics on the left. But speaking to reporters just outside the Senate floor on Saturday, Murkowski sought to begin to mend the divisions that the brutal Kavanaugh fight has deepened, inside and outside Washington.

Asked if she had a message for anti-Kavanaugh protesters, Murkowski said that when demonstrators disrupted the start of the final vote, “I was closing my eyes and praying — praying for them, praying for us. I’m praying for the country. We need prayers. We need healing.”