Since the Senate opened debate on healthcare legislation, two proposed bills have failed because multiple Republican senators joined Democrats in voting "no." But, President Trump and GOP members of the House have only been criticizing female Republican senators for opposing the repeal efforts.
Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia were the first from their party to come out against repealing Obamacare without having a replacement legislation ready before the Senate had even opened debate on the topic. Collins and Murkowski were the only Republicans to vote against opening debate on plans to repeal Obamacare, and they both voted against Republican's bill to replace the current healthcare legislation on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, all three women voted "no" on the attempt to repeal major parts of Obamacare without anything to replace it.
But it's not like they were alone in their opposition. In Tuesday's repeal and replace vote, nine Republicans voted "no" (two women; seven men) and in Wednesday's repeal vote, seven (three women; four men). Nevertheless, none of the men have been specifically called out by other Republican lawmakers or the president, like Collins and Murkowski have.
Wednesday morning, after the first two votes, President Trump singled Murkowski out on Twitter, writing: "Senator @lisamurkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too bad!"
The Alaskan Dispatch also reports that both Murkowski and her fellow Alaskan senator, Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan (who, unlike Murkowski, voted "yes" all the proposed healthcare measures), received calls from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Wednesday threatening their relationship with the Trump administration and policies that benefit Alaskans.
"I'm not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs, and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop," Sullivan told The Alaskan Dispatch.
It wasn't just Trump, either. When Republican Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia was asked about President Trump going after Murkowski on Twitter, he told MSNBC it was perfectly fair. "Somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass," he said. (If you're unfamiliar with the southern slang, it means to hit someone.)
The Republican women who voiced their concerns were criticized before a vote had even taken place. Last week, Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas told conservative radio host Bob Jones: "Some of the people that are opposed to this — there are some female senators from the Northeast. If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask them to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style."
Farenthold didn't name names, but it was pretty clear who he was talking about (although Murkowski and Capito aren't from the Northeast).
Collins and Murkowski have been consistently more vocal about voting down Republicans' repeal plans than others, which initially made them more likely targets for criticism, but now that a total of 13 Republicans have voted against at least one proposed GOP healthcare plan, it's clear that they aren't the only ones breaking from the party.