President Joe Biden said he supports making an exception to Senate rules to allow Democrats to pass abortion rights protections after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week.
Most pieces of legislation require 60 votes to pass thanks to the Senate’s filibuster rule, which has long stymied Democrats in the evenly split chamber. With Vice President Kamala Harris as a potential tie-breaking vote, Democrats could narrowly pass a bill if they carve out the filibuster and have all 50 Democrats on board.
What Biden said about the filibuster: Speaking at a press conference on Thursday during the NATO summit in Madrid, Biden said he would support an exception to protect the right to privacy, which was central to the Supreme Court’s original ruling in Roe v. Wade, according to NBC News.
“I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law,” he said, when asked if he would declare a public health emergency in response to the overturning of Roe. “And the way to do that is to make sure that the Congress votes to do that and if the filibuster gets in the way ... it should be ... an exception ... to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision.”
Can Democrats pass an abortion-rights bill? Even with the president’s support, ending the filibuster for abortion rights could prove a tall task for Democrats. With Republicans expected to pick up seats in November’s midterms, that leaves just a few months for a bill to make its way through the Senate.
Although Manchin is “open to codifying Roe v. Wade legislatively,” CNN reported that Sinema is still opposed to changing the filibuster for any topic.