Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is speaking out after two major pro-life bills failed to break through filibusters on the Senate floor this week. Even though neither the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act nor the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act received the 60 votes needed to proceed to a vote, in an exclusive interview with CBN News, McConnell defended his decision to hold the votes ahead of the 2020 elections.
"This is an issue that people need to continue to pick a side on," explained McConnell. "Science has certainly become an ally, we're learning more and more about indisputably when life begins."
This week Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accused McConnell of wasting the Senate's time with the votes, referring to the bills as "extreme" and "dishonest" – a claim McConnell disputes.
"There's nothing extreme about underscoring a botched abortion and the baby is born alive it's no longer about abortion it's about infanticide," McConnell noted. "It's unbelievable that somebody would call that either a waste of time to have such a vote or extreme."
"In the last couple of years Democrats have said, 'No, we want to use taxpayers money to fund abortions.' So I think it illustrates how out of touch they are," McConnell continued. "If you look at public sentiment it seems to be moving in our direction but the Democrats, virtually all of them, seem to be going in the opposite direction."
McConnell tells CBN News he hopes to ultimately see Roe vs. Wade overturned in the courts, giving the power back to the states.
"If Roe vs. Wade was overturned, which would be my preference, it would simply send this issue back to the states and it would be decided on a state by state basis which I think would be progress because most states, not all, most states would probably enact legislation that people like myself would be sympathetic with," McConnell said.
Since President Trump took office, the Republican-controlled Senate has confirmed nearly 200 federal judges.
"It's the longest-lasting contribution we could make to the future of the country because these are lifetime appointments," McConnell told CBN News.
In addition to Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, McConnell's especially proud of the circuit judge confirmations.
"Obama did 55 in eight years. We've done 51 in a little over three," McConnell added. "One of every four circuit judges in the country have been put in place in the last little over three years."
"At the circuit level, it's particularly important because most complex legislation never makes it to the Supreme Court," McConnell explained. "The circuit level is almost as important as the Supreme Court."
McConnell says it's also important to continue to impact the courts. That's why he hopes evangelicals who might be wary of President Trump's tweets and conduct stick with him.
"I think it's better not to get hung up on behavior, or language or that sort of thing, let's look at what's actually happening," McConnell said. "I've been in the Senate a long time. I'm also the longest-serving Republican Senate leader in history. I've never seen a more solidly conservative administration than this one. And the two years, the first two years of the Trump administration when my party also controlled the house, were the best two years right of center in the over three decades that I've been here."
With just a handful of federal judge vacancies left to fill, McConnell says his motto for this year is "leave no vacancy behind."