The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Abortion 'Mann Act' passes the House

HR 748, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act or CIANA, passed on April 27 270-157, D54:145, R216:11 (earlier pieces on April 24 and April 28.)

Little consolation that, unlike with the energy bill, DeLay did not require Democratic votes this time (switch the 54 Dem anti-abortionists and add in the 3 Dem non-voters - the tally comes to 216-214).

And in the Senate?

The Post says says Ayatollah Frist's said he
intends to bring [a companion] bill to a vote this summer as one of his top 10 legislative priorities

Can we look to (anti-abortionist) Harry Reid to mount a defence? Asked and answered.

This is surely a case where use of the Senate hold should be maximised. This mysterious unofficial instrument of Senate practice I've discussed before (April 20) Because it operates in secret, there's no way of knowing who (if anyone) is using it on a bill at any particular time (unless the senator says as much himself).

If the companion bill - which would probably be S 8 - comes to the floor, the chances of stopping it are not good, based on the experience with the 108th Congress' 'partial birth abortion' bill (S3) and 'Laci and Conner's Law' (HR 1197). Both of these bills passed without cloture needing to be applied.

It's true that there were HR 748-type bills introduced in the 108th that did not reach the floor: HR 1755 and S 851 [1].

But the anti-abortionist fortress in the Senate is now, no doubt, that bit stronger. There has not, I think, been a direct test of opinion on abortion via a roll call vote in the 109th Senate: the closest we get are the Schumer amendment to the bankruptcy bill and the Clinton amendment to the budget resolution, which failed 46-53 and 47-53 respectively.

Which suggests that 41 senators is not an impossible number.

And there are always those Senate holds.

(The tip from Rachel Maddow's show - blog - which is turning out to be a real boon.

Short and snappy, plenty of interesting new material - the opposite of the bloated Franken egofest. The MP3s - available here - are just 37 minutes.)

  1. Committees in both houses held hearings, though. I have no idea why the bills made no further progress.

    A search on abortion on the THOMAS engine for the 108th pulls up no bill or amendment with a similar description.

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