Republican Blames Women Senators For 'Repugnant' Health Bill Woes
A Republican politician has blamed "female senators" for the spluttering efforts by his party to pass a healthcare bill.
Blake Farenthold, a congressman from Texas, told a local radio station if a man were responsible, he would challenge him to a duel.
Susan Collins of Maine was one of three female Republicans who said they could not back the Senate's healthcare plan.
The party has long vowed to replace President Barack Obama's signature law.
But there are deep divisions on what the Republican bill should contain.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump made a rare speech aimed at geeing up his party to make one more healthcare push.
The president stood on a stage at the White House alongside people he said were "victims" of the way so-called Obamacare had wrecked the healthcare system.
"To every member of the Senate I say this: The American people have waited long enough. There's been enough talk, and no action. Now is the time for action."
In a very partisan 10-minute speech, he also blamed Democrats for "obstructing" the Republican effort, even though his party controls both chambers in Congress and the White House.
On Tuesday, there will be a vote in the Senate on whether to bring the bill to the floor for debate and a vote.
But if that procedural vote passes, it is not clear what kind of bill senators would then be considering.
Senator Ron Johnson told reporters: "I don't have a clue what we're going to be voting on."
In an interview with radio station 1440 Keys, Mr Farenthold appeared to point the finger at his own party.
"The fact that the Senate does not have the courage to do some things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do is just absolutely repugnant to me," he said.
He added: "Some of the people that are opposed to this, they're some female senators from the North East."
If it was "a guy from south Texas" who was generating so much discord in the party, he would ask them to settle their differences in a gun fight, he said.
There was an outcry when Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell drafted the first healthcare bill in a group of 13 that did not include any women.
All-male US health bill photo sparks anger
Who are the rebels?
There are concerns from moderate Republicans, Democrats and groups representing the health service that the Republican plan will strip millions of poor Americans of healthcare.
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