GOP congressman blames health care struggles on ‘repugnant’ Republican ‘female senators’

Rep. Blake Farenthold suggested he’d like to resolve things with a gunfight.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File
CREDIT: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) is livid at the inability of the Senate to repeal Obamacare, and he knows exactly who to blame: the Republican women of the Senate.

During a radio interview on a Corpus Christi station last Friday, Farenthold said he finds it “absolutely repugnant” that “the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do.”

Farenthold singled out female senators for opposing the repeal of Obamacare, before suggesting that if they were men, he’d ask them to settle things with a gunfight.

“Some of the people that are opposed to this [i.e., repealing Obamacare] — there are some female senators from the northeast,” Farenthold said. “If it was a guy from south Texas I might ask them to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.”

It appears Farenthold was referring to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Collins is the only female Republican senator from the northeast, and last week, she announced she will vote against a motion to allow the Senate to debate repealing Obamacare unless a replacement bill is in place. Other Republican female Senators, including Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Shelly Moore-Capito (R-WV), have opposed various versions of the Republican plan.


Farenthold’s comments on the radio last Friday came in response to conservative host Bob Jones’ comment that “most of us don’t expect Republicans in to do anything, especially in the Senate. We do not expect them to function, they are so full of themselves.”

You can listen to the interview below. The relevant exchange occurs around the 27:00 mark.


Farenthold voted for the version of Trumpcare that Republicans pushed through the House on a party-line vote in May. During an NPR interview in March, he said his support for Trumpcare is “about keeping promises.”

“My message to my colleagues, whether they’re to the left of me or to the right of me, is you ran on repealing Obamacare,” he said. “If you can show me a path that’s going to get us there other than this, I want to hear it. And none of them have been able to come up with a path to getting rid of it other than this bill that the president says he’s 1,000 percent behind and that’s going to come up for vote.”


Over the weekend, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that some of the most controversial parts of Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare violate Senate rules, and will thus require 60 votes to pass instead of 51. Nonetheless, Senate Republican leadership plans to forge ahead with a health care vote as soon as Tuesday.

The Senate parliamentarian’s ruling makes it more likely that Senate Republicans will attempt to simply repeal Obamacare — an outcome the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently concluded will strip 32 million Americans of their coverage, including 17 million in the first year — instead of passing a replacement bill.