Congressman Trent Franks wants his 20-week abortion ban to get a Senate vote. But to get there, he needs Mitch McConnell to end the filibuster — or find another line of work.
The House passed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — or “Micah’s Law” — on October 3rd. If it becomes law, abortions would be banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
“We’re going to protect unborn children once they’ve reached the beginning of the sixth month, because that’s clearly at a time when there’s no real medical authority that would say that they don’t feel pain,” Franks told The Daily Caller in an exclusive “Newsmakers” interview. “They do indeed feel pain at that age.”
Currently, the United States is one of only seven countries, including North Korea and China, which permits elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill now awaits a Senate vote, but Franks says there’s that massive roadblock in the way — the filibuster.
“The only impediment to this bill at this point is the Senate rule that allows the Democrats to keep it off the floor because they won’t help with the 60 votes needed to bring it to the floor,” Franks explained. “It’s a bad rule. It means that the American people don’t get a debate and it’s something that has to be changed.”
President Trump agrees. He’s occasionally tweeted calls for the Senate to move to a simple majority vote process.
And while the filibuster gives massive powers to the minority party, Franks says the majority — Republicans, presently — embraces the rule because they’re fearful of casting votes on uncomfortable legislation.
“I say this without trying to impugn anyone’s integrity: they’re recognizing that the Senate in many ways keeps this bill in place because it’s almost a hundred percent re-election insurance policy,” Franks explained. “If you have the advantage of being the incumbent senator and you never have to take a controversial vote. It’s almost impossible to dislodge you.”
But wouldn’t a Republican majority merely empower a future Democratic majority by changing the filibuster rules?
“I think that’s the best question of the day, and if you forget everything else I say, please remember this: the Democrats have made it clear that they’re going to change the rule when they get in power. They made that absolutely crystal clear,” said Franks.
“And to say that, somehow, now they’re going to have an epiphany of conscience once they gain, you know, power is just crazy. So the question is not, ‘Will it change?’ The question is, ‘Will people under a unified Republican government see or catch a glimpse of even Republican policy before that happens?'”
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is one of those policies, and Franks believes that getting a Senate vote on this legislation is important enough that Mitch McConnell’s job should ride on it.
“Now there’s a bill before him to protect thousands of pain-capable, helpless little victims that die in this country every year, and he’s the leader of the United States Senate. And all we want is a fair vote. All we want [for] them is to have a little chance. That’s all we’re asking, and he should do that. Whatever it takes.”
“Or he should find something else to do, because he’s lost his way otherwise.”