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Katie Britt Predicts GOP Senate Majority Next Year, Movement on Protecting Women’s Sports

By  Daniel Chaitin

Sen. Katie Britt (R-AL), fresh off delivering the GOP response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, spoke on Tuesday about what Congress should do to address the controversial issue of men competing in women’s sports. She hinted there could be progress on that front — with a GOP majority in the upper chamber next year.

The remarks came as part of a Capitol Hill discussion on Title IX hosted by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), a former Auburn football coach. Among its featured speakers were former ESPN anchor Sage Steele and Paula Scanlan, a former NCAA swimmer who competed against trans-identifying athlete Lia Thomas.

Cady Mullins, another guest at the event, delivered emotional remarks about the physical and mental toll on her daughter Lily when a trans-identifying male joined the swim team at Roanoke College in Virginia.

“To think that having a man on a women’s team doesn’t affect our young women is to just ignore an ugly, ugly truth. The hell these girls went through affected them dramatically,” Mullins said.

Mullins went on to ask, “What can Congress do to put the responsibility on the schools to protect them?” She directed the question directly to Britt, who has a school-aged daughter and son.

Britt said the experiences of the younger Mullins underscores how adults, including parents, need to demand conversations and support young athletes. As for what lawmakers are doing, Britt said they are working “diligently” to give female competitors the best chance for success.

She noted some of the work of Tuberville pushing the Biden administration to push back on proposed regulations to prohibit schools from enforcing blanket bans on trans-identifying males in girls sports and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) taking up the fight for a “Women’s Bill of Rights.”

Making a hopeful prediction for Republicans in November’s election, Britt said, “When we take back the Senate next year, I have a feeling that we’ll be able to move some of this forward.”

The Senate is currently led by Democrats who have 48 seats and three independents who caucus with them. Republicans are the minority party with 49 seats. Multiple reports in recent months have indicated that the chances of the GOP retaking the Senate are improving.

Tuberbille has witnessed firsthand how the legislative push to protect women’s sports has become a partisan issue that has held up movement in Congress. Last year, he tried and failed to win passage for the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, which seeks to amend Title IX and ban recipients of federal funds from being involved with athletic programs that allow males to participate in women’s sporting events. Even if Republicans win a majority, Tuberville cautioned that progress is no guarantee.

“We have an election this year and hopefully we take the Senate,” Tuberville said. “In the Senate, you still have to get 60 votes (to bypass a filibuster). We won’t have 60, and so we’re going to have to plead to our cohorts on the Left to make a common sense decision to save women’s sports.”

Lummis chimed in to say that she believes Democrats will join with Republicans on the issue “because they know it’s wrong.” Hyde-Smith insisted that lawmakers will use their “microphone” and “platform.” She added, “Elections matter. We have got to empower people to get out, vote, and change this.”