In a recent vote that was held in the House, where Republicans currently have the majority, 223 members of the chamber rejected a bill amendment that, if approved, would have threatened access to abortion and related health care services for Americans.
The underlying bill that was being considered would have created new requirements for Congressional review for various major initiatives put forward by the executive branch, and the amendment would have put efforts at expanding or similarly protecting abortion access into the definition of major rules. Approving the change would have meant that attempts to provide some backing to that reproductive health care would have been vulnerable to the political whims of a U.S. House currently controlled by the Republican Party.
The amendment, as recapped on Congress.gov, would have targeted any proposal “likely to result in increased access to abortion, abortion-related services, or abortion-related travel.” On that last point, Republicans have been prominently frustrated with efforts at the Defense Department to cover the travel needs of service members pursuing abortions or related care. Most Republicans unsurprisingly voted for the amendment, which was sponsored by Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), but a small number of Republicans who defected from the party’s expected stance helped sink it.
In total, 223 members voted “no,” while 211 voted in favor. The Republicans who stuck with the party included well-known names like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Steve Scalise (La.), the latter of whom is a current House GOP leader.
Though the underlying bill was passed in the House, it seems unlikely that the initiative will make much if any progress in the Senate, let alone become law with a presidential signature. Republicans have nowhere near the level of support needed in Congress to consistently overcome presidential vetoes — meaning that even when they sort of get their act together in terms of basic functioning, it’s still a flop.