Nancy Mace calls measure to block reimbursement of travel costs for military seeking procedure ‘asshole move’ then votes for it
The fallout from the decision by House Republicans to include a divisive anti-abortion measure in Friday’s defense spending vote has snared the South Carolina congresswoman Nancy Mace, who has been accused of hypocrisy for voting for it.
On Thursday, Mace, who has frequently been at odds with her party over its abortion stance, launched a profanity-laced tirade apparently against the inclusion of an amendment that would block the reimbursement of travel costs for military members who seek the procedure.
“It’s an asshole move, an asshole amendment,” she told aides in an elevator, according to Politico.
“We should not be taking this fucking vote, man. Fuck.”
She voted for it anyway. Then in an appearance on Friday night on CNN Primetime she struggled to explain herself, attempting to portray herself as consistent on the issue of opposing reimbursements for elective surgeries for those in the military, while claiming that servicewomen would still be able to get an abortion.
“Nothing in here would prohibit a woman from traveling out of state to follow state law,” Mace said, reported by the Daily Beast.
“So I think that’s, you know, a really important message. Nothing would prohibit her from being able to do that. There are no limits on her travel.”
Pressed by the host, Kaitlan Collins, who used Mace’s own words to question why Republicans were being “assholes” to women, and pointing out access to an abortion for a woman stationed in Texas was more difficult than for one in New York, the congresswomen admitted she was uncomfortable.
“I did not like the idea of this amendment. These are not issues that I believe we should be voting on right now without some consideration of what we can do to protect women and show that we’re pro-women, which has been my frustration for the better part of the last seven months,” she said.
Mace went further in an appearance on Fox News on Friday night, suggesting that her party’s control of the House could be threatened by its position on issues such as abortion that do not align with public sentiment.
“The vast majority of Americans aren’t with us,” she said.
“Ninety per cent of America is somewhere in the middle, especially on women’s rights, and we have to show that even if we’re pro-life, we care about women, and we’ve yet to do that this year.
“Instead of playing these games with whatever woke means, whatever the flavor of the day for woke is that day, we’ve got to be balanced to show that we actually care about women.
“We can do both at the same time. And with my colleagues that are forcing some of these votes on these amendments, it makes it very difficult for us to hold on to the majority.”
The defense bill, which passed the House 219-210 mostly on party lines, included other controversial amendments covering healthcare costs for transgender service members and diversity initiatives.
The bill is seen as dead on arrival in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, and another example of rightwingers in Republican ranks exerting their influence over the House speaker, Kevin McCarthy, in an attempt to change a number of the Biden administration’s policy goals.
Mace told Fox: “Every single Democrat knows that if there’s an amendment they don’t like, it’s going to get tossed out in the Senate. So this is really just sort of political gamesmanship, political theater.”
Source: The Guardian