All 48 Senate Democrats and the two independents in the Senate Democratic Caucus voted down an amendment to the Inflation Reduction Act that would have created a federal definition that pregnancy is unique to biological females.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida introduced the amendment during the 15-hour amendment vote-a-rama to the Democrats’ $749 billion climate and tax bill that passed the Senate on a party-line vote, expanding taxes on Americans and increasing the Internal Revenue Service workforce by more than double.
Random amendments such as the one that Rubio offered are done to pin opposing party members down on controversial subjects.
In introducing his amendment, Rubio, a Republican, said, “The only people capable of being pregnant are biological females, and therefore, I think federal pregnancy programs should be limited to biological females, and that’s what this would do. A few minutes ago, I looked back across 5,500 years of human history, and so far, every single human pregnancy has been biological female. And therefore, the only thing I’m trying to do is make sure that federal law is clear, since every pregnancy that’s ever existed has been in a biological females, and that our federal laws reflect that pregnancy programs are available to the only people who are capable of getting pregnant — biological females.”
All Republican senators voted for the amendment, including Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. With a 50-50 tie, Vice President Kamala Harris cast the deciding vote against the amendment would state in law that pregnancy programs are for biological females.
Commenting on the Democrats’ rejection of his amendment, Rubio said, “Federal funding should reflect reality: Only women can get pregnant. Unfortunately, it looks like my Democrat colleagues don’t trust ‘the science’ after all.”
Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington State, took the lead position against the amendment.
“Mr. President, let’s be clear about what’s going on here. This is a procedural attempt by Republicans to derail our ability to get this bill across the finish line and deliver for families in our country. It’s actually outrageous that Republicans are trying to talk about pregnancy when in this country right now they are forcing women to stay pregnant no matter their circumstances, pushing cruel and extreme abortion bans. Republicans are now resorting to tactics like this to distract from the fact that they don’t have any serious concerns for working so hard to oppose this bill that lowers costs, lowers emissions, and lowers the deficit.”