‘You Deserve to Know Where Your Member Stands on Infanticide’: GOP Leaders Aim to Force Born Alive Bill Vote

The Republican leadership team in the House plans to use a discharge petition to force Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold a debate of the “Born Alive” legislation that would require doctors provide medical care for babies that survive an abortion.

A discharge petition is a procedural tool that the minority party can use to force the speaker to allow a debate of a piece of legislation. On more than 20 occasions, House Republicans have called for a vote on Rep. Ann Wagner’s pro-life legislation, but Pelosi has continued to block the bill’s progress.

The petition only requires the signatures of a simple majority of the members or 218 signatures. These are not votes on the content of the legislation, but rather it is a vote to allow the bill to proceed to the floor for debate.

According to a report by the Washington Examiner, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) can count on his party and three Democratic co-sponsors to sign the petition — Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas). With those signatures, Scalise only needs to find 18 other votes from Democrats to move the legislation forward.

Still, finding those 18 votes could be difficult. Democrats have painted the legislation as unnecessary and restrictive of women’s health care while Republicans have painted those opposed to the legislation as supporters of infanticide, making the issue incredibly divisive.

“This shouldn’t be partisan,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “We are using every legislative tool at our disposal to end infanticide and get these children the medical care they deserve.”

House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney echoed McCarthy’s comments, saying, “It’s amazing to me as a mom, as a member of this House of Representatives that we have to have this argument, have this debate.”

Scalise, who has been championing this petition, claimed this vote will show whether Democrats are willing to take a side in the debate.

“Here’s the bottom line,” Scalise said. “You deserve to know where your member of Congress stands on infanticide.”

The House Republicans held a press conference Tuesday morning along with several survivors of abortion. They plan to push the discord petition Tuesday afternoon.

Watch Scalise’s press conference:

Although it isn’t yet clear if Scalise will be able to wrangle the 18 votes needed for the petition to pass, several members of the pro-life community are eager to see how Democrats respond to the vote.

Tom McClusky, President of March for Life Action, announced that they will be watching the votes of this legislation closely and promised that they would hold members accountable for their votes.

“March for Life Action will be taking the unprecedented step of scoring negatively in our annual scorecard any Members who refuse to sign H. Res. 102, the discharge petition sponsored by Representative Scalise. Open hostility towards any pro-life legislation on the part of current House Democratic Leadership makes this necessary. We call on all Members to join the majority of Americans and recognize that a child born alive, even if she has been marked for abortion, has a right to life that should be protected.”

The “Born Alive” legislation was prompted in large part by legislation passed in New York and the comments of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.) who claimed that mothers should be able to decide to abort their baby after its birth.

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