McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills

McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills
© Bonnie Cash
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCongress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm Congress under pressure to provide billions for school openings Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok MORE (R-Ky.) is teeing up the Senate to vote on two abortion-related bills once the chamber returns from a weeklong recess. 
 
The move would set up the Senate to take initial votes on the two bills just as Republicans begin to flock to Washington later this month for the Conservative Political Action Conference. 
 
The first, from Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham says he will call Mueller to testify before Senate panel about Russia probe Romney blasts Trump's Stone commutation: 'Historic corruption' Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE (R-S.C.), would ban abortions after 20 weeks with exceptions for the life of the mother and victims of rape or incest. Doctors who violate the bill could face up to five years in prison. 
 
The second bill, from Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseMeadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Chamber of Commerce endorses Cornyn for reelection MORE (R-Neb.), would penalize doctors who fail to "exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion."
 
Both bills would require 60 votes to overcome an initial procedural hurdle. With Republicans controlling 53 seats neither are expected to get it, but it could force Democratic Senate candidates and White House hopefuls to go on record on the issue. 
 
Senate Democrats previously blocked Sasse's bill last year, and similar legislation from Graham in 2018.
 
But Republicans had signaled they would soon turn to an abortion fight, a lightning rod issue that comes months before the 2020 presidential election. 
 
Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate MORE (R-S.D.) highlighted the issue during a speech from the Senate floor on Thursday and accused Democrats of "abortion extremism." 
 
"Unfortunately abortion extremism has grown to such an extent in the Democrat Party that leading Democrats — including a Democrat presidential candidate — have not only ruled out banning late-term abortions, they’ve actually refused to rule out infanticide," he said.