House Republicans are making another move to get the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to the floor of the chamber for a vote, but there’s another big hurdle they’ll have to clear.
Tuesday morning, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise announced that a discharge petition for the bill, which failed in the Senate, will be filed on April 2. The catch? It’ll have to be signed by a majority of House members to get the bill to the floor.
🚨🚨 BREAKING → I’ll be filing a discharge petition on @RepAnnWagner's Born Alive bill on April 2nd. This petition will bypass Nancy Pelosi & force a vote on the floor to #EndInfanticide if a majority of members sign on. Tell your representative to sign this petition! #LetUsVote
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 26, 2019
With the current House makeup, that will require all Republicans and 20 Democrats to sign the petition.
Right now, there are currently three vacancies in the House. With 197 House Republicans, the magic number for a majority is 417, instead of the 418 required under normal circumstances. That leaves Republicans with a lot of ground to cover.
When the House voted on another major pro-life bill last session, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, just three Democrats broke ranks to vote to ban abortions after 20 weeks at the federal level: Reps. Dan Lipinkski, D-Ill., Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
Finding another 17 Democrats willing to buck their party’s leadership, especially on an issue where that leadership is so distantly out of touch with American voters’ views, is a fairly tall order. Following Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s macabre comments about withholding medical care from newborn infants, 77 percent of likely voters said they supported a measure to protect those babies last month.
Last month, I spoke with House Republican Study Committee Chair Mike Johnson, R-La., about the prospect of a discharge petition on this issue. “We want them on record,” Johnson said. “The House Democrats can’t run from this.”
And since the whole point of this is to put House Democrats on record as to where they stand on the issue of infanticide for the survivors of botched abortions, not being able to find 20 Democrats out of 235 who even want to see this bill put on the floor would be a loud and clear statement all by itself.