The Corner

Politics & Policy

House Minority Leader to Call for Unanimous Consent on Born-Alive Protections

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, Calif.) speaks with reporters after a meeting with President Trump and congressional leadership at the White House in Washington, D.C., January 9, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) announced at a press conference this morning that he’ll ask for unanimous consent on the House floor today for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill to prohibit health-care practitioners from failing to provide medical care to infants who survive attempted abortion procedures.

This morning, Representative Steve Scalise (R., La.) announced that he’ll file a discharge petition to remove the bill from committee and bring it to the floor. Such a petition requires majority approval, which it is unlikely to receive given that Democrats hold the majority in the House.

“This doesn’t have to be partisan, and it shouldn’t be,” McCarthy said, after referencing President Trump’s comments about abortion in last night’s State of the Union address. “I applaud [Scalise] for bringing out a discharge petition, but we shouldn’t have to get to a discharge petition. That is why today I’ll ask for unanimous consent for the House to consider Ann Wagner’s Born Alive Protection Act.”

This move mirrors what Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) did in the Senate on Monday, calling for unanimous consent for his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill was blocked by Senator Patty Murray (D., Wash.) on behalf of Senate Democrats, who claimed it was unnecessary.

“If the Democrats object, we’ll ask again, and again, and again, because it is just right,” McCarthy said this morning. “It’s not a partisan issue — it’s about saving lives. I think everyone can agree with that. We should solve this problem this week.”

“The silence from congressional Democrats is deafening and shameful,” Scalise said in his statement today. “Every member of Congress, regardless of party, needs to go on record against infanticide, and we must immediately take action to stop it. The American people deserve to know where their representatives stand on this critical issue.”

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