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Obamacare

Meet the two female GOP senators who opposed the healthcare bill from the start

President Donald Trump delivers remarks beside Republican Senator from Maine Susan Collins, left, and Republican Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski. (Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)
President Donald Trump delivers remarks beside Republican Senator from Maine Susan Collins, left, and Republican Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski. (Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)

Sen. John McCain shocked Republicans and Democrats alike with his vote early Friday morning to kill the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare.

But McCain was not the only Republican to play a role in blocking the final version of the overhaul bill.

Two female Republican lawmakers, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, also voted against the bill.

Collins has opposed repeal and replace efforts from the beginning, and Murkowski has also been critical of much of what the Senate Republican leadership has proposed.

Collins said it would be a “big mistake” for Republicans to pass legislation without trying seriously to work with Democrats to reach bipartisan solutions. Instead, she called for both parties to work together to improve the healthcare system.

Murkowski and Collins were the first from their party to come out against repealing the ACA without having new, replacement legislation on the table.

In statements posted on Twitter, Collins, who voted against the same proposal in 2015, said she did not think it was “constructive” to repeal the law without a replacement, while Murkowski encouraged senators from both sides of the aisle to work together to address healthcare issues.

The two senators were also the only Republicans to vote against opening debate on repeal of Obamacare earlier this week.

Their opposition to Republican healthcare efforts has drawn a lot of criticism within the party, some of it expressed in vulgar, even violent terms.

Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter said in an interview Wednesday with MSNBC: “Somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass.”

A Texas congressman said the female senators narrowly avoided an “Aaron Burr-style” showdown with him.

President Trump publicly rebuked Murkowski on Twitter for her vote.

Trump has not criticized Collins by name for her vote, but warned Tuesday at a rally in Ohio that “any senator who votes against repeal and replace is telling America that they are fine with the Obamacare nightmare, and I predict they’ll have a lot of problems."

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