Thursday’s President Joe Biden supported creating an exception from the Senate filibuster rule to allow for abortion rights protections to be enshrined under federal law.
Speaking to reporters at a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, Biden decried “outrageous behavior” by the Supreme Court, referring to It ruled last week to repeal the 1973 Roe v. Wade Decision that established federal abortion rights protections. The Court’s decision to withdraw those protections was “destabilizing” for the country, he said.
Biden is calling for changes to the filibuster rule. This rule requires a threshold of 60 votes. The president stated earlier this year that he would support a filibuster caveout to pass voting rights legislation.
“We have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that,” Biden saidThursday
In order to ensure that such a vote is successful, Biden said that the Senate must “provide an exception” to the filibuster for reproductive rights.
Given the right-wing Democrats Sens, however, it is unlikely that the filibuster can be changed. Joe Manchin (D. West Virginia) and Kyrsten Silena (D. Arizona) Both are fierce defenders of the filibuster’s place.
Biden went on to encourage Americans to vote in this year’s midterm races.
“If the polling data is correct and you think this decision by the court was an outrage or a significant mistake, vote, show up and vote,” Biden said. “Vote in the off-year and vote, vote, vote. That’s how we’ll change it.”
Biden’s calls to vote have been criticized by progressives and reproductive rights advocates, who have pointed out that Democrats had ample time to prepare for the ruling but took little action.
“In a legitimacy crisis, the solution Biden + Dem leaders must offer can’t just be one of voting, but of statute & authority,” Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) wrote in a recent Twitter thread.
“For the moments when we DO insist on elections, we must be PRECISE with what we need and we will do with that power,” she went on. “How many seats does the party need to Codify Roe? Dems must SAY THIS. Not just ‘go vote’ or ‘give us $6 to win.’ That is demoralizing, losing, unfocused nonsense.”
Although Biden has publicly stated that he will address the ruling, the president was criticised this week for allegedly making a deal behind closed doors with Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. To nominate an anti-abortion judge for a Kentucky lifetime appointment. The deal was purportedly made to ensure that McConnell and Republicans wouldn’t obstruct future judicial nominations that Biden makes elsewhere, though many are skeptical that McConnell will honor the terms of the agreement, given his history of blocking critical judicial nominations.