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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has agreed to serve as the lead sponsor of a Senate bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, according to a report by Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard.

“Right-to-life groups have urged Rubio to take the lead on the issue, believing he would be the strongest possible advocate in the Senate,” the report reads. Rubio is expected to announce his sponsorship of the bill when Congress returns from recess after the July 4th holiday.

Similar bans — which are based on very questionable science, and are likely unconstitutional — have recently been debated in the House of Representatives and the Texas State Legislature, and sparked major controversy in both instances. In the House, the debate over the bill turned into something of a sideshow after Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) argued against exemptions for pregnancies caused by rape by declaring that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy [is] very low,” and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) claimed (in all seriousness) that fetuses can masturbate 20 weeks after conception. In Texas, Democratic state senator Wendy Davis became a political sensation overnight after temporarily delaying the Lone Star State’s ban with an 11-hour filibuster.

Senator Rubio — who holds a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee and a 0 percent rating from Planned Parenthood — is likely taking the lead on a Senate version of the abortion ban for both personal and political reasons. Since Rubio became the Republican Party’s most vocal advocate for the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill, his approval rating among Republican voters has dropped to 58 percent — down 10 percent from May, and 15 percent from February, according to Rasmussen polling. Additionally, Rubio has increasingly become a target at Tea Party events opposing the reform plan. If Rubio chooses to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2016 he will need to improve his standing with the GOP’s conservative primary voters; sponsoring a restrictive anti-abortion bill would go a long way towards solidifying his right flank.

Despite Rubio’s sponsorship of the bill — and the public’s narrow support for such measures — the high-profile debate to come is highly unlikely to yield any tangible results. A 20-week abortion ban has no realistic chance of passing through the Democratic-controlled Senate, and even if it did, President Barack Obama would almost certainly veto the measure.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com

  • John Pigg

    I know an ingenious method of bringing new blood and new voters to the Party. Lets push an abortion ban in the Senate, where it won’t get passed and make us look like idiots.

    • TheSkalawag929

      Maybe Rubio’s strategy is that he can sponsor this abortion ban knowing that Democrats will give him cover. He knows full well that the bill won’t make it past the Democrat controlled Senate and he has the extra added security of a Presidential veto.
      As far as Rubio is concerned there is no downside. He can tickle the fringers all he wants.

  • Mary Ann Hoogeveen

    We have a lot of terrible politicians here in florida but Rubio ranks as one of the worst.He could care less about the citizens,the tea party darling has 1 thing on his small mind and that is the WH and the only way he should see the inside of that place is to buy a ticket and take a tour.

    • TheSkalawag929

      If what you say is true, what are your sane and good Floridians going to do to rid yourselves of terrible politicians that you have sent to Washington AND Tallahassee.

      • Mary Ann Hoogeveen

        I didn’t vote for Rubio any of the GOP/baggers but finding sane Floridians is not easy,Florida’s motto is GOP,Guns and GOD and in that order.

        • TheSkalawag929

          I don’t know. Didn’t Rubio win his senate seat because the democratic vote was split?
          I think there are more sane Floridians there than you think. The President won Florida. The tea bag nut job Allen West was given the boot.
          You sane Floridian can reclaim your state. It will take some work but it can be done.

        • Independent1

          Mary Ann, what you describe as Florida’s motto, “GOP, Guns and God”, is the classic dichotomy; GOP and Guns are total contradictions to God; It’s like God made quite clear – you CANNOT LOVE God and Mammon – with the GOP and Guns clearly being Mammon. Jesus would in no way approve of people carrying weapons with the intent of using them to kill people, which is exactly what the majority of gun lovers carry them for; to kill someone should someone give them the opportunity. Remember, Jesus said: If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the left. He did not say: If someone strikes you on the right cheek, whip out your gun and shoot him!!! It’s extremely sad that – the majority of Evangelicals and many other supposed Christians – cannot see that the GOP is clearly leading those who vote for them to damnation.

    • Jim Myers

      He should be denied admittance even with a ticket.

  • hjs3

    Twenty- wk. abortions are a less than 2% factor so this is important how again?
    Someone get this kind another bottle of water…

    • TheSkalawag929

      Two percent here two percent there it’s not important until you start adding up all those two percents. Then the next thing you know you’re one hundred percent left out.

      • hjs3

        Oh Dear!

        • TheSkalawag929

          Indeed!

  • Catskinner

    Rubio alienated every right thinking independent with his stupid immigration reform, and now he’s alienating everybody else. If he’s going to run for president, he’ll have to form a third party.

    • TheSkalawag929

      I would not be too sure of that. Right-wingers are looking desperate enough to elect the devil himself if it will win them the White House.

  • midway54

    The same Teabagger and yahoo crowd voted both Rubio and the governor,Scott, into office, as well as the rightwing crackpot Allen West, who lost his last campaign after one term and mercifully is gone….over to Fox where he truly belongs. If things work out well for Florida and the nation, both Rubio and Scott will be defeated.

    • Independent1

      We can certainly hope that at least enough right-wing Florida voters (and in other states) wake up enough to see the destruction that the GOP is creating in many states across the country and vote them out of office before the destruction goes too far. All many of them have to do is see the total destruction the Rick Perry has created in Texas where aside from job creation (of low paying jobs), Rick has gotten the state to the point where it ranks in the bottom 5 nationally in virtually any measure someone chooses to come up with – including having the most polluted environment in America.

      • midway54

        Yes, I hope so, too; however, it will be a huge effort to awaken such a huge community of hopelessly mesmerized disciples of rightwing propaganda that is blanketing the Country, thanks to the plutocrats who keep them active in the media. As to Texas, I could never understand the swaggering braggadocia so typical of many of them in the Loon Star State given what you have correctly stated about the place.

  • Jim Myers

    If it looks like a turd, if it smells like a turd…

  • howa4x

    As I understand it he won the Senate in a 3 way race where more votes were cast against him than for him. By taking the lead on this bill he will show the right wing he has their issues front and center but at the same time he will alienate women especially younger ones and may turn off independents. this may come back to bite him if he gets the nomination. This is why the national GOP says social issues can be kryptonite and to avoid them. I guess Rubio didn’t get the memo.

  • Lynda Groom

    Rubio is a tool of the extreme portion of the party. In short a Tea Bagger. However, he is being attacked by the very folks who loved him just a few short months ago for being one of the gang of eight. Watching the party chewing up one another is interesting, however not very productive. The young man has been touted as the future of the GOP and that certainly has consequences. His ideological compass swings in the ether like a windsock. If one is going to truly represent the people of a large and diverse state like Florida they should be able to cross party boundaries to accomplish positive results. He’s yet to show such resolve and courage. Good luck Florida.

  • charleo1

    Paul Krugman describes today’s Congress as dangerously dysfunctional. Who
    disagrees? I was reading an opinion piece from 2008, where the author was talking
    about Congressional disfunction. He noted Max Baucus, who chaired the Senate
    Committee on Healthcare Reform, had opened his campaign coffers to 3.3 million dollars worth of contributions from the health insurance lobby. And his decision to
    make eliminating the public option his first order of business. Was what turned out to be the opening act of a Congress with large Democratic majorities, that by 2010, had sicken the majority of their base, so much so. That those Democratic voters sat home, and allowed their own Party, to take the political drubbing of a lifetime. And, as much as I supported, and continue to support, Barack Obama, and the Democratic Party. I cannot claim with any conviction they didn’t deserve every bit of it. The one injustice, being the most damaging turn of events of all. The loss of The House of The House of Representatives, and the Speakership of one, Nancy Pelosi. There was enough good Legislation passed by a House committed to Democratic values, and one of the most skillful Speakers to ever hold a gavel. That, Harry Reid let slip through his fumbling fingers, to have restored this Country’s economy, and the Middle Class seat at the table, essentially eliminated by Ronald Reagan, more than 30 years ago. And, if not for the bumbling, lobby money addicted, and wholly,
    self serving, prima donnas, in the U.S. House of Lords, and Lackeys, we could say today, too big to fail, is no longer a possibility. And neither is dying, simply because one is too poor to afford to see a doctor. In the richest, freest Country in the world. The specter of millions of people working in the shadows, vulnerable to exploitation of all manner. Or the outrage of tens of thousands of our bright, young men, and women, would not today have a the shadow of being deported to a foreign land, hanging over their otherwise productive futures, in the only Country they’ve ever known. It is Congress, that threatens this Country. The Supreme Court asks for
    a better formula from Congress, for discerning discrimination in those States with a past history of it. Well, they’ve hopelessly gutted the Voting Rights Act, because we
    know our Congress is incapable of doing anything, to remedy it. Have we heard our Democratically controlled Senate, or it’s majority leader, say to the Party’s faithful
    African American contingent, or the Democrats across the Country that are very concerned about the GOPs mucking around with people’s, especially poor people’s
    right to vote? Are they waiting on Republicans to start the work on a new formulary,
    because they believe in voter equality? Or they haven’t started, because they are just as happy as as Republicans, to see this bill expire? 2014 is just around the
    corner. If they think the GOP is so bad, they need do nothing to bring their voters
    to the polls. I would direct their attention, if they have any for anything that doesn’t
    have a campaign contribution stapled to it, to 2010.

  • tax payer

    If women want to have an Abortion after 20 weeks let them have it and, if they die no more Abortions for them.