Talk that there are enough votes in the Wisconsin state Assembly to pass a ban on research on aborted fetal tissue is uninformed, speaker Robin Vos said.
Vos, R-Rochester, responded pointedly on the issue in an interview that aired Sunday on "UpFront with Mike Gousha."
"Every time people say 'I think that I have the votes,' they don't," Vos said. "My job is to count votes for a living."
In the last two weeks, Wisconsin anti-abortion advocates have been pushing for the Legislature to pass a series of bills on fetal tissue before the end of the session.
Specifically, last Tuesday, groups rallied on the state Capitol steps to encourage Vos to schedule votes in the Assembly. He said he wouldn't do that until he knew the measures would pass and he added that has concerns about the potential impact on research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"My job is to talk to lawmakers and to try to craft a compromise that can work in the long run that we can also make sure we explain to the public and do the right thing," Vos said.
In September, the Assembly passed a bill to block Planned Parenthood from receiving $3.5 million in federal Title X funding. But medical and scientific research communities have objected to proposals to halt research on aborted fetal tissue, warning that they could stop work toward life-saving discoveries.
Republicans haven't reached a compromise in their caucus, Vos said.
"There were many who said, look, let's try to craft a bill that can address the issue but not go so much further," he said. "And some of those on the pro-life side have said they don't want to compromise at all; they'd rather ban the research. I just fundamentally have an issue with that, which is why we've had that discussion in caucus and we haven't found a consensus."
Vos, a supporter of Marco Rubio in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, also weighed in on whether he'd support Donald Trump as the party's standard-bearer, saying he supports the nominating process.
"Who the Republicans nominate, I can't see any circumstances under which I would not endorse that nominee," Vos said. "Now, he could say something stupid, as could any candidate between now and then, and show that they're not worthy of the presidency. He has some positions I don't agree with.
"But I also believe that if you go through a primary process and a caucus process and speak to millions of people around the country and get through that process, it's the responsibility of those of us who are involved in the Republican Party to rally around the nominee."
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