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GOP Congressman Says He’d Challenge Female Senators to a Duel Over Obamacare Repeal If They Were Men

A Republican lawmaker is citing his party’s female senators as the reason the GOP health care bill ultimately failed to become law.

“Some of the people that are opposed to this — there are some female senators from the Northeast — if it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold said in a July 21 radio interview on Bob Jones’ show on 1440 Keys. The Associated Press initially reported on the interview.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on July 17 that there were not enough votes to pass the revised version of the GOP’s health care bill, and the Senate would instead vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement. But three female Republican senators — Maine’s Susan Collins, West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — said they were opposed to that measure, effectively dooming it.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the Obamacare replacement plan in May, but the legislation stalled in the Senate. With 52 senators in the Republican conference, the party could only afford two defections, and they had more than that with both versions of the bill that was released.

At least nine senators opposed the first version of the bill, which was released in the Senate in June, and at least three opposed the revised version of the bill, released earlier this month.

Collins, Capito and Murkowski all expressed reservations about the bill, but Collins was the only one to explicitly say she would vote against a motion to proceed on both versions of the legislation. Capito came out against the first version of the bill, but only after McConnell had announced the vote was delayed until after the July 4 recess.

Contrary to Farenthold’s criticism of the female lawmakers resistance to the bill, it was actually two male senators — Utah’s Mike Lee and Kansas’ Jerry Moran — who put the nail in the coffin of the revised version of the bill, leading McConnell to conclude that the effort to replace Obamacare had been unsuccessful.

Representatives for Collins, Capito and Murkowski did not immediately respond to requests for comment.