WASHINGTON — A Texas GOP congressman says if the three female Republican senators who oppose a bill repealing Obamacare were men from South Texas, he might challenge them to a duel.
"The fact that the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do is just absolutely repugnant to me," U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, told local radio host Bob Jones on Friday.
"Some of the people that are opposed to this, there are 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."
In 1804, Aaron Burr famously shot and killed his political adversary, Alexander Hamilton, in a New Jersey duel.
Farenthold, whose office did not respond to a Texas Tribune request for comment, was referencing U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to push through a pure Obamacare repeal bill that lacked a replacement, after months of trouble to pass a repeal-and-replace measure, those three senators effectively ended his efforts by announcing they opposed the plan.
But those three women — considered moderate Republicans — haven't been the only nails in this summer's health care coffin. Previous iterations of the legislation have faced opposition from the Senate's more conservative wing, including men like U.S. Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Duel language is not new in politics. In 2004, then-U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, a Democrat who crossed party lines to campaign for President George W. Bush, invoked it against MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews. The comments were met with widespread mockery at the time.
But there's little funny about such language in the U.S. Capitol these days, after a man shot and injured a Republican member of Congress during a baseball practice in June. U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was gravely injured in the incident and remains hospitalized.