Two Republican senators who voted against the "skinny" healthcare repeal last week said they were concerned the bill cut funding for Planned Parenthood, and that they were working in the best interest of their states.
"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,'" said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who appeared on CNN with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
Murkowski and Collins spoke of the phone calls and meetings they had and the pressure they felt about their vote.
"I will say that I was very happy that Lisa was literally sitting next to me as we were voting from our seats which is, you know, unusual, and used for only very important votes," Collins said.
Murkowski added that, "To have that weight, that responsibility, to know that your vote really is that pivotal, it does help to know that there is another kindred soul nearby."
They also spoke about their interaction with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the night of the vote, whose third "no" vote ensured that the bill would fail.
"I so remember when both Lisa and I were talking with John McCain on the Senate floor and he pointed to both of us and said, ‘You two are right on this issue,' " Collins said.
"To have the conversation that we had after the vote, we had one of those conversations that you think of down the road," Murkowski said. "He said, ‘People might not appreciate what has happened right now as being a positive. Maybe our colleagues are not going to be viewing this as a positive right now. But the time will prove that having a pause, having a time out, for us to do better is going to be good for the country.' And it was a good, strong John McCain message."
Not everyone felt the same way about the two women as McCain did, and both Senators spoke with CNN's Dana Bash about how they view themselves, given that some hail them as "heroes" and others view them as "heretics."
"I see myself as someone who has an obligation to represent the people of Maine," Collins said. "And sometimes that means casting uncomfortable votes, votes that will make my party uncomfortable and even angry at me."
Murkowski said they wanted to "vote to do the right thing" without "worrying about the consequences."
"Are you fearful of repercussion from your party?" Murkowski said. "A tweet from the President? A backlash from your leadership? I don't believe that we should be motivated or discouraged from taking the positions that are important to the people that we represent in our respective states."
Murkowski also related how she told President Trump that she didn't vote for the Republican Party, but rather "to the people of Alaska," during a lunch at the White House with GOP senators in July to discuss healthcare.
"I remember being so proud of you for saying directly to the president what your obligations were," Collins said.
Murkowski added that at one point, she had "a very direct call" with Trump.
Both senators said that despite their no votes, they would still work on other points of the president's agenda.
"Finding those areas where we are working together, partnering, this is what we should be doing," Murkowski said. "If there's rhetoric that is out there that is not constructive to governing, I think it is important to speak up, and I think you are starting to see a little bit of that."