Schumer Promises Vote on Codifying “Roe” Without Workaround for Filibuster

The United States Senate Democrats have announced that they will bring up a vote next Wednesday to approve legislation that codifies abortion protections as outlined in the 1973 Supreme Court landmark ruling Roe v. Wade — but their action will likely be an exercise in futility, as they do not have the votes to get it past a 60-vote filibuster threshold.

The vote is in reaction. The Supreme Court’s draft opinion as leaked, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, that suggests the institution is set to overturn the half-century-old precedent protecting a person’s right to access abortion services throughout the country.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–New York) confirmed that the vote would take place.

“I intend to file cloture on this vital legislation on Monday which will set up a vote for Wednesday,” he said on the Senate floor on Thursday.

In a Twitter post, Schumer said the vote was necessary so that “Americans will see where every single Senator stands” on the issue.

The majority leader’s comment is perhaps a recognition that the bill will fail. The 60 votes required by Democrats to defeat the Senate filibuster are far from reach for Democrats. Many see the vote as a political gesture and not a realistic means to address the possibility of ending abortion rights protections in millions of Americans’ lives.

“The plan is little more than an effort to send a political message before the midterm elections and a seismic ruling that could have major legal, cultural and electoral consequences, with deep significance for voters across the political spectrum,” wrote The New York Times’s Annie Karni in a report on the vote.

Even if Democrats eliminated the filibuster completely, however, it’s unclear whether they’d be able to get every member of their own caucus on board with passing abortion protections.

The legislation that’s up for a vote, the Women’s Health and Protection Act, passed easily in the House last year but was blocked when it reached the Senate by Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchina conservative Democrat from West Virginia. Manchin opposed the bill because it provided too many protections to individuals when it came down to abortion rights.

Manchin has not shown any change in his stance on the matter since his February vote to block it. Nor has he expressed much support for a diluted version of the bill that Sen. Susan Collins (R.Maine) offered. This would allow states to place strict restrictions on access to abortion and provide limited protections across the country.

Some may view any efforts to negotiate with Manchin as futile because of the inconsistency between Manchin’s eventual vote and his private conversations with progressive Democrats on other pieces of legislation throughout the past year. A Democratic insider said that Manchin’s eventual vote and his private conversations with progressive Democrats on other pieces of legislation over the past year were inconsistent. Axios In January, these discussions with Manchin were announced. said that working with him was like “negotiating via Etch A Sketch.”

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