“There is no secret, I want to protect every child. So if there is an opportunity to be able to move, to protect more children if we can, I will do it,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). However, he added that the 60-vote threshold required to pass most bills in the Senate would present “the same impasse … There is a big difference between voting and passing bills.”
“I’m definitely advocating: Let the states handle this,” added Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), who is up for re-election this year. “Maybe once that process is over, yes. Maybe there is a point for federal legislation…a restriction that we should probably recognize on a national level.”
Anti-abortion groups and Republican lawmakers spent years pursuing a 20-week federal abortion ban as a consensus party position, in addition to so-called “live births” bills, which would punish health care providers who fail to treat to a surviving baby. an attempted abortion. Now, the probable reversal of the Supreme Court of Roe next month he is fraying that deal, which often resulted in failed votes on the Senate floor each winter when the anti-abortion March for Life came to Washington.
It’s clear the GOP doesn’t want to run with national restrictions on abortion as its platform this November. Still, Republicans must win back Congress this fall if they want to seek limits at the national level in the future.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told USA Today last week that a nationwide ban was “possible” but said Monday that he would “never support crushing legislative filibuster on this issue or on no other”. With that in mind, many Republicans want to stop talking about abortion legislation in the background, seeking instead to regain majorities in Congress.
Importantly, while the GOP is unlikely to capture a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate this fall, the practical hurdle for any further limits on abortion would be 67 votes in the upper house, provided President Joe Biden be in charge. he is poised to veto any such legislation sent to him by a Republican Congress.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RS.D.) said that while he personally supports abortion restrictions, the debate was “hypothetical” and there is no unified position in the GOP.
Senator John Cornyn (Republican of Texas), close to McConnell, issued a similar note. He said yes Roe is shot down, he doesn’t see the need for federal legislation even though he has in the past supported a 20-week abortion ban: “I don’t think that’s really an appropriate issue for Congress.”
The recognition that Roe will likely be overturned is a change for the GOP, which spent much of last week condemning the draft opinion’s release to POLITICO. Cornyn noted that “we’ve come a long way from a leaked draft opinion that would send it back to the states.”
“There will be many different approaches, many different ideas. We are a great party and we have a lot of different thoughts and ideas,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). “I am staunchly pro-life. I will always want to do what is right for the pro-life movement.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), another GOP incumbent, added that “returning the issue to the states does not prevent the United States Congress from legislating on the issue of abortion,” but said he wants to see how states address it initially. .
Beyond what comes after overturning the 1973 decision, individual Senate Republican views on abortion range from Lankford and Ernst on the anti-abortion end of the spectrum to Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Maine). R-Alaska). ), who have their own legislation to codify Roe. And while Republicans struggle to find some kind of consensus, their leaders brushing aside talk of whether they might try to restrict abortions nationally in the future, Democrats are leaning heavily to defend abortion rights.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) will force a vote on legislation by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that codifies Roe, which is expected to fail. McConnell brought up the Democratic legislation during Monday night’s leadership meeting, describing it as extreme, according to two attendees who spoke candidly on condition of anonymity.
Democrats, meanwhile, are hyping McConnell’s suggestion of a future national ban push and warning of GOP legislation that goes beyond overturning Roeif the Republicans regain the majority and the White House.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Monday that McConnell “certainly opened the door for a federal abortion ban” and warned that “every person in America should listen to him.”
McConnell called the Democrats’ position unpopular because it would allow late-term abortions in some states, saying Monday that “radicals are in charge.” But Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he was “skeptical” McConnell wouldn’t change the house rules after promising he wouldn’t, if it suited him. Durbin’s reason for that hesitation? “Merrick Garland”.
The Democrats’ rally around abortion rights is so strong that a growing number of them running for re-election this fall are rallying around a new push to weaken filibuster in response, even though there is no chances of a rule change going nowhere in the evenly divided Senate.
“I would support a filibuster exception on this issue,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan (DN.H.), who is facing voters in November. “[Republicans have] they already got what they wanted by making an exception to filibuster when it comes to Supreme Court nominations. And I think they won’t stop [on abortion restrictions] if they think this is something they should do.”
Meanwhile, the GOP’s tight lips on federal abortion restrictions even apply to Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), who has introduced legislation several times to enact a 20-week ban.
Summing up the mood of most of the conference, Graham said Monday: “Call me in 2025.”