House to Vote Next Week on Abortion Ban Bill
Updated 4:45 p.m. | The House will vote next week on legislation to bar federal funding for abortions, Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced on Wednesday.
The Virginia Republican said he had scheduled the bill for floor consideration during his address to the assembled crowd at the annual March for Life, which coincided with the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure that our values on the sanctity of life will be reflected,” Cantor said to a thunder of applause.
The bill also would bar the District of Columbia from spending its local funds on abortion services for low-income women.
Given the House schedule next week, the vote on the bill will have to take place on either Jan. 27 or Jan. 28. President Barack Obama is set to deliver his State of the Union address the night of Jan. 28, and on the morning of Jan. 29, the House recesses to allow for the Republican Conference retreat in Cambridge, Md.
Republican leadership is moving quickly on the legislation, which just last week passed on a party-line vote out of the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats and abortion-rights groups protested the panel markup, flooding the halls of the Rayburn House Office Building outside the hearing room.
In order to ensure passage of the bill by a simple majority, the Rules Committee intends to meet on Monday, Jan. 27, to provide for floor consideration of the legislation on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Had the measure been placed on the suspension calendar for expedited consideration, the outcome would have been less certain: With nearly all Democrats expected to vote “no,” the necessary two-thirds majority vote threshold might not have been achievable.