by Steven Ertelt
November 7, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — An outspoken abortion advocate is on track to become the number two Senate Democrat with the current Senate Minority Whip expected to be elected as the new Minority Leader to replace defeated pro-abortion Senator Tom Daschle.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin told reporters on Friday that he has secured enough votes to take the Minority Whip position helping lead members of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate.
Should he win in voting among the party caucus later this month, he and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, who has a mixed voting record on pro-life legislation, will lead Democrats when the next session of Congress begins in January.
"At this point, I think it is safe to announce that I have the support of my caucus and will be serving as the new Democratic whip when the Senate is reorganized," Durbin told reporters in Chicago on Friday.
The Minority Whip is responsible for rounding up party votes in favor of or opposition to legislation. As the party’s whip, Durbin would also be expected to secure votes for filibusters in opposition to President Bush’s judicial nominees.
Durbin addressed the issue of Bush’s nominees and possible pro-life appointees to the Supreme Court in his press conference.
"It would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to compromise my belief that Americans are entitled to the right of privacy,” Durbin said referring to the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision to allow virtually unlimited abortions. "That’s what I think Roe says."
"The president may have received a mandate Tuesday but he didn’t receive a free lunch," Durbin added. "There is no free lunch.”
Durbin frequently posts a 0% pro-life voting record on key pro-life legislation from the National Right to Life Committee.
In addition, the Illinois senator has sponsored a "phony" partial-birth abortion ban to provide cover for abortion advocates in the Senate who wanted to say they oppose partial-birth abortions. The Durbin amendment attempted to ban all late-term abortions but included a health exception that would allow all such abortions to remain legal.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, an abortion advocate from North Dakota, called Durbin to announced that he would not run against him for the post. Dorgan was considered the only possible competition for Durbin.