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FIRST ON FOX: House Republicans will make protecting women’s sports a “priority” should they take back the lower chamber after the 2022 midterms, Fox News Digital has learned.
The Republican Study Committee (RSC) is pushing to bring the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, led by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., to the House floor via a discharge petition.
A senior GOP aide told Fox News Digital that “protecting women’s sports will be a priority of a Republican majority.”
A leadership aide also told Fox News Digital that Republican members view the issue as an important one.
Republican members are gearing up to tackle the issue should the House flip in November, with RSC Chairman Jim Banks of Indiana telling Fox News Digital, “Americans overwhelmingly support allowing girls to compete on an even playing field.”
“Protecting women’s sports is a winning issue for House Republicans and we are more united than ever around it,” Banks said. “For the sake of millions of female athletes, this bill absolutely should be a part of our post-2022 agenda.”
Banks gave props to Steube for his leadership on the measure, thanking him, “Leader McCarthy and the over one hundred House Republicans who signed the Republican Study Committee’s discharge petition.”
Steube told Fox News Digital that he had initially filed an amendment in the House Judiciary Committee for the Equality Act – which he said “completely redefined what a woman is and didn’t keep the protections for Title IX” – that failed on a party-line vote.
The Florida Republican said after the amendment’s failure, he filed a standalone bill as well as made a motion to recommit on the House floor.
“And there’s become so much attention to this issue because there are circumstance and example after example all over the country where this is happening,” Steube said. “Every day, women are losing scholarships.”
Steube pointed to the case of University of Virginia swimmer Emma Weyant, the collegiate swimmer who came in second place behind transgender Penn swimmer Lia Thomas, noting that Weyant is from his district in Florida.
The Florida Republican said the measure would need the support of “at least five” Democrats to pass the House before heading into the 50-50 split Senate.
“And that’s the whole point: let’s put everybody on record as to where they stand on this issue,” Steube said. “Do you think the biological men should be able to compete against biological women in competitive athletic sports? And put everybody on the board of it on it.”
Steube said he believes the issue of trangendered biological men competing in women’s sports “is going to be a piece to show how far the left has gone with their very far left progressive policies that the majority of Americans don’t support.”
The congressman also noted that his legislation is “obviously a bill that President Biden is not going to sign” and that he “would think that this administration would support, even if we were able to pass it through the House and the Senate.”
“So I do think this is going to be an issue that’s going to go on for the next several years,” he added.
House Education and Labor Committee ranking member Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., told Fox News Digital that political “arsonists on the far left will stop at nothing to decimate women’s sports – even it means subjugating women and girls entirely.”
“Republicans will be the ones to stop the left’s political assault on women. We can’t let women’s sports become collateral damage in radical progressives’ campaign against a traditional, science-based understanding of sex and gender,” the long-serving Republican continued.
With the need of five Democrats to get out of a full House vote alone, Republicans will have to garner the support of moderate blue members to have a hope of passing the bill.
However, should the measure pass the House, it is unlikely to clear the split Senate without support in the upper chamber.
That support is currently in short supply, though, as the Democrats are already feeling the pressure ahead of a tough midterm election and will likely not want to hand a win over to the GOP.