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Interior watchdog reviewing Zinke's calls to Alaska senators

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By MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press
    
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Interior Department's internal watchdog says she is investigating phone calls by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Alaska's Republican senators seeking support for the GOP health care bill.
    
Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall says her office is launching a "preliminary investigation" of Zinke's July 26 calls to Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. The Alaska Dispatch News reported that Zinke warned the senators of repercussions for their state if Murkowski failed to support the bill.
    
Murkowski was one of three Republicans to vote against the bill, which later failed in the Senate. She said last week she did not consider the call from Zinke a threat.
    
Democratic Reps. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Raul Grijalva of Arizona asked Kendall and the Government Accountability Office to review Zinke's actions.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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