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Don’t Give John McCain All the Credit for Killing Obamacare Repeal

July 28, 2017

These two female senators were just as critical

While Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain has garnered the bulk of the attention for his dramatic “no” vote against the Senate health care repeal bill early Friday morning, social media users are urging others not to forget the two other Republican Senators responsible for stopping measure in its tracks: Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The two Senators made it clear that they were unlikely to vote on the so-called “skinny” Obamacare repeal bill, after being the only two Republican senators to break with their party and vote against a procedural motion to start debate earlier in the week. Their opposition meant that GOP leaders could only afford to lose one other senator. McCain unexpectedly provided the final blow, making him the focus of Friday’s headlines—and praise from his Democratic colleagues.

But Collins and Murkowski faced heavy criticism and threats for going against their party. President Donald Trump explicitly called out Murkowski on Twitter, and his Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reportedly told her that her vote put Alaska in jeopardy. Georgia Republican Rep. Buddy Carter said that someone needed to go to the Senate to “snatch a knot in [Murkowski’s] ass,” while Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold said he would challenge Collins to a duel if she weren’t a woman. (Farenthold later apologized.)

The fact that McCain’s vote overshadowed Collins’ and Murkowski’s opposition clearly struck a nerve. Many Twitter users noted that it reflects what many women have experienced firsthand: not getting the credit they deserve in the workplace.