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 McConnellLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash Phase-four virus relief hits a wall 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 backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill UN biodiversity chief calls for international ban of 'wet markets' Graham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets 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 SasseAmerica's governors should fix unemployment insurance Mnuchin emerges as key asset in Trump's war against coronavirus House Republican urges Pompeo to take steps to limit misinformation from China on coronavirus 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 ThuneTrump's magical thinking won't stop the coronavirus pandemic Lawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill 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.