by Molly Prince
Republican leaders in the House of Representatives gathered outside the Capitol Building on Wednesday to announce the party’s strategy to bring anti-infanticide legislation to the floor after House Democrats rejected a vote 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 Chair Liz Cheney told the 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.”
Cheney and six of her Republican colleagues joined pro-life activists in condemning the Democrats’ 17 attempts over the past 40 days to avoid voting on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require medical care for babies who survive abortions. A similar bill failed in the Senate in February by a vote of 53 to 44.
As a way to bypass Democrats’ refusal to bring the legislation from committee to the House floor, Minority Whip Steve Scalise announced a discharge petition would be available in the coming weeks, which would allow the House to vote with only 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.
Republican Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson requested unanimous consent Tuesday to allow a vote on the aforementioned bill, however, Democrats ruled the request out of order. Johnson’s microphone was abruptly cut off after attempting 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 press 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.”
Following the press conference, Republican Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup offered the unanimous consent request to consider the Born Alive bill and the legislation was rejected for the 18th time. House Republicans reportedly plan to ask Democrats again Thursday.
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