How fixing the Senate filibuster could save the lives of countless unborn children

How fixing the filibuster could save countless unborn lives

Posted October 13, 2017 11:21 AM by Nate Madden
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“Micah’s Law,” a piece of pro-life legislation that would end abortions in the United States after 20 weeks, has passed the House and has the full support of the White House. But will the bill pass the Senate?

Right now, its House sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., says that its two biggest challenges in getting to the president’s desk are Senate Democrats willing to filibuster it and the GOP leadership willing to let the minority run the show.

The problem, he told me in an interview at CRTV’s Washington office, is how the filibuster is structured. Currently, Senate rules require 60 votes to get a bill to the floor, but not to get it out of the chamber. What this leads to, he says, is a constant legislative quagmire, where the greatest deliberative body in the world can’t truly deliberate.

The solution, Franks explained to me off-camera, would not be to “nuke” the filibuster by getting rid of it entirely, but to change it back to what it used to be. This would create what’s known as a “talking filibuster,” where — once a bill comes to the floor — Senators would be forced to debate it until it fails or passes in an up or down vote.

But why are senators so hesitant to tweak the current rules? And what will it mean for Mitch McConnell’s leadership and legacy if he allows the current filibuster to kill this pro-life law? We talked with Franks to find out more. Watch:

 


 

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Nate Madden is CRTV’s congressional correspondent. Follow him @NateMaddenCRTV or send tips to nmadden@crtv.com.