As Republicans in the Senate bring forward a bill next week that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of gestation—when babies are capable of feeling pain and can survive outside the womb—Senate minority leader Harry Reid declined to say whether he supports any limits on abortion during any moment of pregnancy. The Nevada Democrat has characterized himself as pro-life in the past, having stated his opposition to Roe v. Wade and having voted for the ban on partial-birth abortions (which bans a particular procedure but does not protect human life at any stage of development).
But at a press conference in the Capitol Wednesday, Reid says he won't support the GOP bill. "If you dissect this bill they have, no reasonable person could vote for this," he said. "It’s a bad bill, and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to vote for it."
Reid offered his theory of why GOP leader Mitch McConnell is bringing up the bill next week. "He’s doing it for reasons I’m not sure anyone appreciates. But he’s doing it because the pope’s coming here," said Reid. Pope Francis will visit the nation's capital next week and will address members of Congress.
Asked twice by THE WEEKLY STANDARD if there should be any limits to when an abortion is performed, Reid, encouraged by fellow Democratic senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer (who were standing behind him), declined to answer.
"So you're not willing to say whether there should be limits on when an abortion should be?" asked TWS.
"The question’s on this bill," Reid said. "And this bill’s going nowhere."
Reid's counterpart in the House of Representatives, minority leader Nancy Pelosi, has also refused to answer questions about late-term abortions and was unable to explain the difference between that practice and infanticide.
The top Republican in the Senate is applauding President Obama after the passage of the trade bill.
“A new Congress that’s back to work for the middle class just notched another win for everyone who cares about strengthening American paychecks, American jobs, and the American economy. Achieving this positive outcome was never going to be easy, but it proves that the power of a good idea, no matter where it comes from, can win out over the stasis of gridlock," Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says in a statement.
Speaker of the House John Boehner is praising the Senate's passage of the trade bill and calling on Democrats to join with Republicans to pass the law in the House.
“Trade helps create good-paying American jobs, so it’s good news that the Senate has put us one step closer to eliminating trade barriers. These reforms have the support of farmers, manufacturers, small business owners, and Americans from all walks of life, and it’s not hard to figure out why," Boehner says in a statement.
At long last one of the nastiest rifts in the Republican party is being dealt with. It’s not the divide between conservatives and moderates. Nor does it involve who’s right about how to cut taxes, supply-siders or reform conservatives. This rift is bigger. It’s between Republican leaders in Congress and the Republican grassroots.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that President Obama "has done an excellent job" on the trade bill. "We'll pass it later this week," McConnell assured Stephanopoulos .
In a 60 Minutesinterview with Scott Pelley, parts of which aired on Sunday, House speaker John Boehner and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell made it sound like they are no closer to producing the elusive Obamacare alternative than they were five long years ago.
Speaker of the House John Boehner told CBS's 60 Minutes that he's "interested in working with" President Barack Obama:
"Listen, the president and I talk, and I know Mitch [McConnell] talks to the president. Wnd we had a meeting at the White House last week. It was all very cordial, it was all very straightforward. I don't think that's the issue," said Boehner in response to a question about whether Republicans and Democrats can work together.
President Obama invited Mitch McConnell , soon to become Senate majority leader, to the White House on Dec. 3. At Mr. McConnell’s insistence, they met one-on-one. They discussed trade, tax reform and infrastructure, the three issues on which they believe compromises are possible in 2015.
Late last night, the White House announced a carbon deal with China. As the Washington Post explains:
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Obama struck a deal Wednesday to limit greenhouse gases, with China committing for the first time to cap carbon emissions and Obama unveiling a plan for deeper U.S. emissions reductions through 2025.