US Rep. Renee Ellmers recently made a mess for herself on an issue that should have been a slam-dunk for her. Ellmers has regularly been endorsed by pro-life activists. Yet, last month, she stirred up a ruckus by pulling her sponsorship of a late-term abortion ban that had been wholeheartedly endorsed by her apparent allies in the pro-life movement.
Ellmers offered up a number of excuses for her action. She expressed concern about a provision that says rape and incest victims need to file a police report before trying to get a late-term abortion. The problem? She had co-sponsored and voted for an identical piece of legislation in 2013. Why was the bill OK in 2013 but not in 2015?
Ellmers suggested that she had been tricked by some of her colleagues to vote for the 2013 version of the bill. She even tried to suggest that voting for this bill would have hurt the farm bill and her farming constituents. She even had her spokes-girl out there suggesting that Ellmers objected to this year’s version of the bill because the federal government “is not in the business” of determining what IS and IS NOT rape. Ellmers even revived the old trick of blaming liberal media bias — even though that didn’t work too well for her in one of her earlier public screwups.
I had an interesting conversation with some Capitol Hill sources today about Renee Ellmers and the issue of banning late-term abortion. They informed me that there was actually a third bill — in 2012 — that Ellmers co-sponsored and voted for. The 2012 bill was a ban on late-term abortion in The District of Columbia. Said one of my sources:
”The 2012 bill was the same as what she complained about last month. The big differences from this year’s bill were — one — that it dealt only with DC and — two — that it had no exceptions built in for rape or incest. Those were the two issues she was hung up on this year. She said she had a problem with the rape and incest qualifications in this year’s bill, but she had no qualms about voting for a bill in 2012 that did not even address rape or incest.”
Source #2 explained that the 2013 bill started off not having an exception for rape or incest. But concerns by House leadership led to the rape and incest exceptions being inserted into the legislation at the very last minute. My source said Ellmers slapped her name on the bill as a co-sponsor BEFORE the rape and incest exception was added. After the addition of that exception, the 2013 bill became identical to the bill in 2015 that so upset Ellmers. Ellmers voted FOR the 2013 bill. Said Source #2:
” I think, when you look at the big picture, you can determine at least four things about her: (1) she’s not very smart, (2) she’s in way over her head up here in Washington, (3) she has no problem voting for bills she apparently hasn’t read, and (4) she has no problem co-sponsoring bills she apparently hasn’t read.”