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The GOP would overturn the filibuster to impose a national abortion ban if it wins the midterms, ex-RNC chief suggests

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Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele.Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • Former RNC chief Michael Steele said the Republican Party would likely seek a national ban on abortion.

  • He said the party would likely suspend the filibuster to enact the ban if it retakes the Senate.

  • The SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade removed the constitutional right to an abortion.

Michael Steele, the former head of the Republican National Committee, slammed the GOP in its current form and suggested that it was prepared to push aside Senate rules and impose a national abortion ban if it retakes Congress in the November midterms.

In a Monday interview with MSNBC, Steele was asked by host Katy Tur if the GOP would seek to enact further restrictions on abortion in the wake of last week's Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion.

Tur asked: "Sen. Chris Murphy said that if Republicans are able to retake the House and Senate, they will pass a federal ban on abortion. Do believe that would happen."

"Yes. Without hesitation. They will set the marker," Steele replied.

"Because it's in their base's interest to do so," he said. "That's the difference politically between the two parties. Republicans will go, 'oh, yeah, the Constitution and the filibuster, all the tradition, the sanctity of the Senate.' They don't give a rat's patootie about that when it's the bottom line in politics and power."

"So absolutely, a national ban on abortion will be one of the first pieces of legislation probably next to impeaching Joe Biden," he said, without providing evidence for his claim that the GOP would seek to impeach Biden.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, some Republican leaders signaled support for further restricting access to abortion by banning it nationally after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Under last Friday's ruling, states are left to decide whether abortion is permitted, and under what terms. Most Republican-leaning states have already enacted laws banning or significantly restricting access to abortion, or are poised to do so.

If Republicans take back control of Congress in the 2022 midterms, as some analysts have predicted, they could in theory pass a ban by lifting the filibuster, a rule requiring bills to get at least 60 votes to pass — but it would likely face a White House veto.

Some Democrats have called on the Democratic-controlled Congress to act and pass a law enshrining abortion rights. But such a move would likely be blocked in the Senate by Republicans using the filibuster rule, and Democrats lack the unanimous backing of their caucus required to temporarily lift the filibuster and push through a bill.

Steele, who was the chairman of the RNC between 2009 and 2011, has been a frequent critic of the direction taken by the Republican Party under former President Donald Trump's leadership and influence. He has also said he opposed Roe v. Wade, and abortion access should be a question for states to decide.

Read the original article on Business Insider