On Sunday, Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio spoke with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Tapper brought up the outrageous story of Kate Cox, a Texas woman who is being forced (so far) to go through with a nonviable pregnancy that risks both her life and her future fertility. Vance claimed he didn’t “know the details of that story,” then attempted to word-salad his way out of things, saying, “We have to provide exceptions for the life of the mother, for rape and so forth.”
Tapper asked whether Vance’s brand-new plan for the Republican Party includes the right to birth control; after all, it is a tried-and-true way for people to make sure they don’t get pregnant in the first place. That led to this exchange:
Vance: Look, obviously, people need to be able to make those decisions. I don't think I know any Republican—at least not a Republican with a brain—that's trying to take those rights away from people. But I think it goes deeper than that.
Tapper: I mean, I could provide a list for you if you want.
Vance: Well, okay, not anybody I talk to, Jake. But, look, I think the more important question is—I talk to a lot of people, a lot of young families who want to have babies. They can't afford mortgages; they're terrified about health care expenses. We've got to answer those questions for people. We've got to have a role to play because, look, we have a real problem in this country.
Tapper didn’t provide the list, but we will. In July 2022, the House of Representatives voted almost entirely along party lines, 228-195, to pass legislation that would codify the right to contraception in federal law. The Right to Contraception Act (H.R. 8373) passed because Democrats voted unanimously for the bill, while 195 Republicans voted against the right that Vance is pretending the greater GOP supports.
Here are some important Republican members of the House of Representatives whom, it seems, Vance has never spoken with:
In fact, only eight Republicans voted for the right, and two of them were Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, both of whom were subsequently chased out of the GOP. And while Vance might not speak with lowly representatives, he should probably remember one of the many Republicans who helped kill the bill in the Senate.
It's not every day that the House expels one of its own, so of course we're talking about George Santos getting the boot on this week's episode of The Downballot. Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard discuss the deep fracture inside the GOP that the expulsion vote, then handicap the special election to replace Congress' newest ex-member. They also dive into the absolutely wild New York Times report detailing how former Rep. Tom Suozzi had to grovel before Gov. Kathy Hochul to earn her approval to run in that February election.