Will the GOP’s push to restrict abortion access spill over into same-sex marriage?

Jul 22, 2022, 3:32 PM
Chair Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., right, and Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., attend the Select Committee on t...
Chair Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., right, and Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., attend the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress hearing titled Pathways to Congressional Service, in Cannon Building on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Derek Kilmer (D), U.S. representative for Washington’s 6th district since 2013, is worried about the GOP’s voting patterns on same-sex marriage, abortion, and contraception.

Republicans representing 21 different states joined a unanimous Democratic caucus to support the Respect for Marriage Act, finishing with a vote of 267-157. 47 of the 267 in favor of the bill came from the Republican side. The act requires the U.S. federal government to recognize the validity of same-sex and interracial marriages.

“There are concerns based on Justice Thomas’ opinion that calls into question things like marriage equality and even access to birth control,” Kilmer said on Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Newsradio. “So, before the week is out, we’re going to vote on a bill to protect access to birth control, as well. And we’ll see what my Republican colleagues do. I would hope that they would vote for that.”

Washington Rep. Kilmer says voting rules must pass the ‘grandma’ test

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed legislation to safeguard the right to travel across state lines to seek an abortion after several states banned the procedure in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling. The House voted 223 to 205.

“The vast, vast majority of the Republican Conference voted against that bill. So I am concerned about that. That calls into question, very significantly, the right to reproductive freedom,” Kilmer said. “You’ve seen Republican leadership say they would support a nationwide ban. Former Vice President Pence said that he’s going to push for a nationwide ban.”

Other political decisions Congress is voting on include two recent proposals that were introduced to reform and modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure the electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President.

“We haven’t moved on that bill yet, but there is an effort to, in essence, reform the Electoral Count Act in hopes of avoiding another January 6 scenario,” Kilmer said. “This will clarify, among other things, that the vice president doesn’t have the power to overturn the results of a presidential election. And that would make a higher threshold for lawmakers to object to the results of the Electoral College vote. There’s bipartisan support for this.”

Amidst everything on Congress’ plate, Kilmer is not stressing over the growing interest from the Democratic Party to elect a new candidate for the 2024 presidential election over President Joe Biden.

“I don’t sweat a presidential election that’s more than two years away,” Kilmer said. “What I sweat is trying to reduce costs for the folks I represent, trying to get this inflation in check, and trying to make sure that we’re making more progress for the folks.”

64% of Democratic voters say they would prefer a new standard-bearer in the 2024 presidential campaign, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll. Biden holds a meager 33% job-approval rating as of last month.

Kilmer seeks reelection and will run against Chris Binns (R), Todd Bloom (R), Elizabeth Kreiselmaier (R), Rebecca Parson (D), and Tom Triggs (I) in this year’s upcoming primary.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Will the GOP’s push to restrict abortion access spill over into same-sex marriage?