March 22, 2018
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Collins responds to Texas congressman’s ‘duel’ comment

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) speaks with reporters about the withdrawn Republican health care bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2017.
By Steve Collins, Sun Journal

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, a four-term Republican, told a Corpus Christi radio host that the GOP’s health care bill was sidelined by women senators.

“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,” Farenthold told host Bob Jones’ “1140 Keys.”

“Some of the people that are opposed to this, there are female senators from the Northeast,” he said. Collins is the only New England Republican in the Senate.

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

“Unfortunately, he means a duel,” said Hamilton expert Joanne Freeman, a Yale history professor.

Burr, a former vice president, shot Hamilton, a former secretary of the treasury, to death in a famous 1804 duel in New Jersey that’s a centerpiece of the current Broadway hit “Hamilton.”

Dueling is illegal in every state, so Collins is unlikely to take up the challenge.

Monday evening, Collins remarked that Farenthold’s statement was out of the ordinary. “In 20 years in the Senate, I have had a lot of people make suggestions about how to resolve legislative disputes, but until today nobody had ever suggested a duel.”

Two other women senators — Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Shelly Moore-Capito of West Virginia — have also spoken out against the Republican health care bill, though not with the same vehemence that Collins has displayed.


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