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GOP Rep: If Texas Man Opposed Obamacare Repeal Rather Than Female GOP Senators, I Might Challenge Him to Duel

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Rep. Blake Farenthold (R, Texas) said Monday it is “absolutely repugnant” that the Republican-led Senate has not fulfilled its promise to repeal Obamacare, suggesting that, under slightly different circumstances, a duel might be the best way to resolve the issue.

In a radio interview with “1440 Keys,” Farenthold singled out “some female senators from the Northeast” for stalling the GOP repeal effort, the Associated Press reported.

“If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” Farenthold said.

Aaron Burr was an American politician born in 1756 who became the third vice president of the United States. He killed Alexander Hamilton, his political rival, in a famous duel in 1804.

Farenthold’s office did not respond to the Texas Tribune‘s request for comment on his statements.

One of the lawmakers who Farenthold may have been referencing was Sen. Susan Collins (R, Maine), who has consistently opposed the GOP plan to repeal Obamacare without a sufficient replacement.

Last week, Collins said, “I will vote no on the motion to proceed to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement. I voted against this same proposal in 2015.”

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to move ahead on legislation to repeal Obamacare.

Republican Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have also expressed reservations about various versions of the Senate repeal and replace plan, but they are not from the Northeast.

Murkowski last week called for the Senate to “take a step back” and to “engage in a bipartisan process to address the failures of the ACA [Affordable Care Act] and stabilize the individual markets.”

Capito said Friday on Twitter that she supports repealing Obamacare and replacing it with the right plan. “By repealing & replacing Obamacare, we can fix problems created by this failed law, put reforms in place that work,” she wrote.

 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R,.) and President Donald Trump also added their voices to the health care debate on Monday.

Kasich said in a statement that it would be a mistake for the Senate to move ahead and “force a one-sided deal that the American people are clearly against.”

The Ohio governor’s statement reflected Murkowski’s sentiments regarding bipartisanship, saying that a vote should not occur until “Congress can step back from political gamesmanship and come together with a workable, bipartisan plan.”

Trump told Republican lawmakers on Twitter that they have one “last chance” to do “the right thing” to repeal and replace Obamacare. “Republicans have a last chance to do the right thing on Repeal & Replace after years of talking & campaigning on it,” he said.

Senate Democrats stand firmly against the Obamacare repeal efforts, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has struggled to obtain the votes needed from GOP lawmakers to pass the bill.

Over the weekend, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that some of the most controversial parts of the Senate Republican bill violate chamber rules. If formally challenged, these provisions of the bill would require 60 votes to pass instead of a simple majority of 50. The development reignited the push from some Republican lawmakers for a straight repeal of Obamacare, with a replacement bill to be passed at a later date.

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