Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., rejected activists’ suggestions the Republican Party would work to introduce a bill to ban abortion at the federal level in Congress, saying it’s more likely the party would aim to kick decisions on the controversial procedure back to the states.
“The sentiment in my conference is for this issue to be dealt with at the state level, if we are in fact confronted with a final Supreme Court decision that throws this issue back into democratic processes,” McConnell told reporters during the weekly Senate GOP press conference.
McConnell also noted the Senate has yet to have 60 votes to make a federal determination on codifying the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, and he does not expect there to be enough support for one now – on either side.
“First, let me make it perfectly clear, in spite of suggestions to the contrary: There are no issues that Senate Republicans believe should be exempt from the 60-vote threshold,” McConnell vowed if Republicans were to regain Congress after the 2022 midterms. “In other words, there’s zero sentiment in the Republican conference in the Senate to get rid of the filibuster.
“Some of you know that I have many flaws, but being inconsistent is not one of them. I said repeatedly no to President [Donald] Trump when he was there and wanted to get rid of that.
That alone would block any moves in the Senate on abortion from either side, McConnell noted.
“Historically, there have been abortion votes on the floor of the Senate; none of them have achieved 60 votes,” McConnell continued. “This particular measure that Democrats have today is particularly radical, and I’ll call on others to comment on the radical nature of it.
“But I think it’s safe to say there aren’t 60 votes there at the federal level – no matter who happens to be in the majority, no matter who happens to be in the White House.”
Like the leaked Supreme Court draft suggests, the issue of abortion belongs in the hands of each state’s legislatures to pass abortion law.
“The widespread sentiment of my conference is this issue will be dealt with at the state level. The Supreme Court, if this becomes the decision, as obviously said this is ripe for discussion in democratic bodies.
“We happen to be a democratic body. [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer is proving that by having us vote on it [Wednesday]. But I am pretty safe in saying most of my members believe this will be dealt with at the state level.”
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