A Republican member of Congress said he would duel female Republican senators who opposed the current healthcare bill if they were men.

In a recent radio interview, U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) said that “some female senators from the Northeast” were chiefly responsible for the likely failure of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (Trumpcare) to get enough votes to pass the chamber. He then wished out loud that he could challenge them to a duel if they were men.

“If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” Rep. Farenthold told hosts of 1440 KEYS in Corpus Christi, Texas on Monday, referencing the third Vice President of the United States who killed Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in an illegal duel in 1804.

Rep. Farenthold was likely referencing Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is one of the more moderate Senate Republicans who remains opposed to Trumpcare due to its significant cuts to state Medicaid programs. Other female Republican senators who have expressed concerns about the proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) include Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), though neither one of them are from the Northeast.

Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is attempting to pass Trumpcare through the budget reconciliation process, he only needs 50 votes plus a tiebreaker vote from Vice President Mike Pence in order to send the Senate’s bill to the House. However, Republicans can only afford to have two defections if they hope to pass the bill with even a slim 51-vote majority. Senators Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have also publicly criticized the Senate’s healthcare proposal and have yet to publicly commit to a “yea” vote.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) has promised that there will be a vote on the healthcare bill on Tuesday.


Scott Alden covers national politics, education, and environmental issues for Grit Post. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in Inkster, Michigan.

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