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Bipartisan pitch to birth control mandate

By msnbc's Anna TumanSenators Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and Joe Manchin (D-W.

By msnbc's Anna Tuman

Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va) appeared together on Thursday’s show to explain the bill that they’re co-sponsoring. Their bill would stop the government from requiring something that goes against a religious organization's beliefs.

"What it basically says is if there is a religiously affiliated organization and the religion they're affiliated with specifically teaches something like this, that contraception is wrong, the federal government shouldn't have the power to go in and require them to have to pay for it," Senator Rubio said to NBC's Chuck Todd. 

The Senator went on to say the protection their bill outlines already exists within the constitution, but the White House has gone against those rights.

"By the way, I believe that protection already exists in the constitution but the reason we need this legislation is because the HHS and the White House has decided that it doesn't apply," Rubio said.

When pressed on if the bill will allow for an exemption on birth control prescribed for health reasons Rubio said he was unsure if the bill currently includes that.

"Well, right now I'm not sure it contemplates that, but I think those kinds of things can be worked out if they make sense," Rubio said.

Senator Manchin told Chuck the option to get a rider to receive coverage for contraceptives should be apart of the bill.

The two Senators said they believe the issue at hand is not about a woman's ability to get contraception, but rather if a religious group should be required to pay for something that goes against their beliefs.

"This is not even about contraception  for me," Rubio said. "I mean that’s what people want to focus on, but this is about whether the religiously affiliated organizations should be required to pay for something."

Both senators said that this bill is not about banning contraception, but rather about stopping the federal government from requiring that a religious group pay for something that goes against their beliefs.

"We’re not asking them to prevent them from doing these things," Rubio said. "All I’m asking and all I’m arguing is the federal government should not have the power and say to a religiously affiliated organization you must pay for something your religion teaches is wrong."