Collins, Murkowski glad they had each other for ‘no’ votes on healthcare – The Hill

GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsMcCain expects to return to Senate next month GOP senators pitch rules change amid nominations backlog McCain: Arizona was about to get ‘screwed’ by GOP healthcare plan MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiMcCain expects to return to Senate next month McCain: Arizona was about to get ‘screwed’ by GOP healthcare plan Trump, GOP senators unveil measure to cut legal immigration MORE (Alaska) said they were glad that they had each other when they voted against moving forward on the Republican healthcare bill last week, the pair said Thursday on CNN.

The two were the only Republicans who voted against the motion to proceed on the healthcare vote, leading the Senate to begin debating on their plans to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The Republicans eventually failed to pass even their watered-down “skinny” repeal plan after Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMcCain expects to return to Senate next month Overnight Healthcare: Governors press Trump to make ObamaCare payments McCain: Trump’s concerns with Russia sanctions bill ‘misplaced’ MORE (R-Ariz.) joined them in voting against the measure. 

The Republican women spoke with CNN’s Dana Bash about their experience Thursday, indicating that they were happy they were voting from their seats and sitting next to each other when they voted against the GOP healthcare measures.

“I was very happy that Lisa was literally sitting next to me as we were voting from our seats,” Collins said.

“To have that weight, that responsibility knowing that your vote really is that pivotal, it does help to know that there is another kindred soul close by,” Murkowski added.

Bash commented that the pair are seen as both heroes and heretics to different people across the country. Collins responded that she was willing to cast the “uncomfortable” vote against her party’s line because she was representing her constituents, despite knowing it could make members of the Republican Party angry with her.

Both senators faced backlash from Republicans for their votes against the healthcare push. Trump specifically targeted Murkowski in a tweet after her vote, saying her votes “let the Republicans, and our country, down.” One Republican lawmaker even said he would challenge the senators to a duel if they weren’t women.

Murkowski said she voted that way because it was “the right thing” and that she shouldn’t be focused on the repercussions from the Republican Party.

“I don’t believe we should be motivated or discouraged from taking the positions that are important to the people we represent and our respective states,” she said.

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