Two of the senators who singlehandedly derailed the skinny repeal of Obamacare were awarded a sit down interview with the admiring Dana Bash Friday on CNN. The bright faced journalist applauded Sens. Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) for having the “cajones” to vote against the Republican bill when they knew half the country would view them as heretics.
Collins admitted it was an “uncomfortable” vote. But, they both insisted it was the right thing to do, which is why they did not fear backlash from GOP leadership, or even intimidating tweets from the Oval Office.
Both women said they were voting for their constituents, not the Republican Party.
“I made a statement to the president that I’m not voting for the party, I’m voting for the people of Alaska,” Murkowski recalled.
“I remember being so proud of you” for standing up to Trump, Collins said.
Part of standing up for their states, the senators argued, was protecting Planned Parenthood funding. Under the GOP bill, the massive pro-abortion organization would be defunded for a year.
"The issue of family planning services, cancer screenings, and women care probably does resonate with us more than it does with our male colleagues, and to me it was so unfair to single out one Medicaid provider and say to women in particular, ‘You can't choose which health care provider you want to go to,'” Collins explained.
Murkowski's support for Planned Parenthood became apparent in June when she penned a letter to an Alaskan constituent ensuring them that she was "committed" to protect its funding.
Conservatives have a strong counter argument by pointing out the over 300,000 abortions Planned Parenthood performs every year. Why should the organization continue to receive taxpayer money?
In fact, it is liberals who are celebrating Collins and Murkowski’s actions. The Huffington Post wrote about how Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, helped make up Collins’s mind. She had spent months speaking to Collins about health care, according to HuffPo. Additionally, Planned Parenthood volunteers put in “thousands of calls” to Murkowski and Collins’ offices.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the last piece of the derailed GOP health care bill puzzle, reportedly praised Murkowski and Collins for doing the right thing when he went to cast his own "no" vote.
“The time will prove that having a pause, time out to do better is going to be good for the country,” McCain told them, according to the senators.