Rep. Blake Farenthold on Monday blamed “some female senators from the Northeast” for hampering Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, telling a local radio station that he might challenge them to a duel if the supposedly-obstructing lawmakers were men.
Farenthold’s remark appeared to be a reference to Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), both of whom have expressed some degree of hesitancy toward Senate Republicans’ specific plans to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has also expressed reservations about the GOP’s repeal-and-replace efforts, although she represents a state thousands of miles from the U.S. Northeast.
That the GOP has not yet made good on its repeal-and-replace promise is “absolutely repugnant,” Farenthold (R-Texas) told a radio station in his Gulf Coast congressional district.
"The fact that the Senate does not have the courage to do some things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do is just absolutely repugnant to me," Farenthold said during his segment on Corpus Christi, Texas, radio station 1440 KEYS, according to Talking Points Memo. "Some of the people that are opposed to this, they’re 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,” Farenthold added.
Collins has been the most vocal Republican opponent of Republican repeal-and-replace efforts, wary of the bill’s deep cuts, and is considered highly unlikely to support the legislation in its current iteration.
Capito and Murkowski have been more open to the GOP proposal but both joined Collins in opposing a repeal-now, replace-later approach favored by some Republicans as it has become clear that the repeal-and-replace bill’s future is uncertain.
The list of GOP lawmakers expressing opposition to the Republican’s healthcare proposal is also far from limited to just women: Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) have also voiced concerns throughout the legislative process.