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Long-shot legislation focus of Republicans in 118th Congress

The U.S. Capitol Building on December 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.
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WASHINGTON – Republican Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri stood on the House floor earlier this month to champion her Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation that aims to protect infants born during abortions.

Critics say the bill is unnecessary since those protections already exist. And it has no chance of passing the Democratic-led Senate or being signed into law by President Joe Biden.

But that wasn’t really the point. The bill – and, more importantly, the accompanying floor vote – were part of a larger messaging strategy: put Democrats on the record regarding an issue Republicans believe is a winner on the campaign trail.

This kind of long-shot legislation has a name: messaging bills which aim to convince voters one side is working to address issues of importance while the other is standing against them, experts told USA TODAY. 

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