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 McConnellTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case 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 GrahamUS defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk Lawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation 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 SasseOvernight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills Behind the scenes of McConnell's impeachment drama 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 ThuneMcConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran As many as eight GOP senators expected to vote to curb Trump's power to attack Iran 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.