Last month, Virginia Senate majority leader, Tommy Normant (R) began taking meetings with minority leader Dick Saslaw to see what it would take to get the liberal faction of state government to lay low on the abortion issue and stop repealing some controversial anti-choice laws recently passed by the Virginia General Assembly. In exchange, the GOP will send over one negative vote to the Democrats for every anti-choice bill being discussed. Virginia Republicans are referring to the deal as a "grand bargain."
A Democrat legal aide told HuffPo: "It's about keeping media off the topic. If Democrats came out swinging trying to repeal some of these laws, it's going get media coverage. [Republicans] really just want a state of neutrality." The agreement would be particularly powerful because the GOP vs. Democratic vote in Virginia is 21 to 20.
Some Democratic leaders scoff at the offer, saying that it's hardly enough to keep a low profile and stop fighting the GOP's restrictive abortion laws—the mandatory ultrasound mandate passed in 2012, for instance. Sen. Ralph Northam (D), the only physician in Virgina's Senate, says: "In my mind, the bargain would start with repealing what [Republicans] did last year. It was an embarrassment to Virginia, and I think they realize that."
A rep for Normant says that the rumors of this so-called grand bargain are "balderdash," and nobody from Saslaw's camp even deigned to give a statement.