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Biden calls on Congress to ease Senate rules to codify Roe v. Wade

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US President Joe Biden holds a press conference on the last day of the NATO Summit on the IFEMA Convention Center, in Madrid, Spain on June 30, 2022.

Burak Akbulut | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Thursday said he would support suspending the Senate filibuster rule to codify the constitutional right to an abortion as established by the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 ruling to Roe v. Wade.

His comments represent critical support for suspending a key procedural hurdle that has to this point prevented Senate Democrats from passing laws that may make the choice federal law. Current Senate rules require the bulk party to muster 60 votes to beat the minority’s try and block the advance of a bill, a procedural motion often called a filibuster.

“I think now we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law. And the technique to do this is to be sure that Congress votes to try this,” Biden told reporters in Spain.

But with the Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, the GOP has been capable of use the filibuster rule to stop the slim Democratic majority from approving abortion bills.

“If the filibuster gets in the way in which, it’s like voting rights, we offer an exception for this,” Biden said. “We require an exception of the filibuster for this motion.”

The president doubled down on his stance later within the day in a post to Twitter.

Biden’s comments come per week after the nation’s highest court overturned nearly 50 years of legal precedent by reversing its original opinion that girls have a constitutional right to an abortion. In addition they mark the primary time the president has publicly supported changing the filibuster rules to pass laws codifying Roe v. Wade into law.

The court’s controversial ruling last week now grants states the facility to pass their very own abortion laws without worrying about running afoul of the Roe opinion, which had allowed abortions in the course of the first two trimesters of pregnancy.

The president said he’s scheduled to satisfy with state governors on Friday to debate their options until Democrats in Congress cement their response. Echoing the idea held by many Democrats, Biden added the reversal “is a serious, major problem the Supreme Court has thrust upon america.”

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“I will do every thing in my power I legally can do by way of protecting abortion, in addition to pushing Congress and the general public,” he said.

But even with Biden’s backing that doesn’t suggest Democrats will give you the chance to force abortion laws through the Senate. That is because, while the filibuster could possibly be modified with an easy majority vote, not all Senate Democrats are behind the thought of tossing out a technique to check future Republican majorities.

Moderate Democrats Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, for instance, have said they’re against changes to the filibuster rules.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who’s against any changes to the filibuster rule, criticized Biden’s remarks.

“Attacking a core American institution just like the Supreme Court from the world stage is below the dignity of the President,” he said in a press release on Thursday. “Biden’s attacks on the Court are unmerited and dangerous. He’s upset that the Court said the people, through their elected representatives, may have a say on abortion policy.”

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