By Jon Dougherty
GOP leaders met outside the U.S. Capitol earlier this week to announce a strategy to bypass House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) so they can bring anti-infanticide legislation to the chamber floor after being rejected by House Democrats 17 times.
“There are some issues you really can’t believe that you have to have a debate about and this is certainly one of those,” GOP Conference Chairperson Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) told a gathered crowd.
“The idea that we would not protect babies after they are born — the idea that we have one party now in this Congress that refuses to put a bill on the floor to stop infanticide — it’s really unbelievable,” she added.
Cheney and a half-dozen GOP colleagues met pro-life activists to condemn Democrats’ 17 attempts over the past 40 days to avoid having to vote on a bill called the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
That legislation would require healthcare providers to give medical care and support to newborns who survive abortion procedures. A similar bill could not muster the 60 votes required under Senate rules to pass the upper chamber last month, failing by a vote of 53-44.
In order to bypass the House Democratic leader over her refusal to bring the measure out of committee for a vote, Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) announced a discharge petition would be forthcoming in a few weeks, allowing the House to vote only with an absolute majority.
“I’m calling on every member of Congress to sign the discharge petition when it ripens in a few weeks so that we can bring this bill to the floor, have this debate where all the country can see that this process, this grisly process, barbaric process of murdering babies when they are born alive is legal in many states and, in fact, needs to be stopped,” Scalise said.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Tuesday requested unanimous consent to allow for a vote on the bill. But Democrats deemed the request out of order and Johnson’s mic was abruptly turned off as he attempted to speak further.
“This is not a partisan issue. This is not about Republicans or Democrats — this is about life. This is about a child who survives an abortion, just the same as any newborn being able to survive. They need care,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said at the news conference.
“We shouldn’t have to be talking about this, but we look at what’s moving across the country, the extreme of what the Democrats have moved to.”
“Last night on the floor, for the 17th time, we asked to bring up the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. For the 17th Time, the Democrats refused,” he continued. “Every time, those in the chair say it’s not agreed upon on both sides. There’s no objection on the Republican side to bring the bill up, it’s only on one side.”
As Democrats made clear during the recent Senate confirmation hearings for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, they will go to any lengths — including smearing a fine jurist with a stellar reputation — if they believe abortion will be threatened in any way.
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