President Joe Biden told reporters at a NATO summit on Thursday that “If the filibuster gets in the way” of codifying abortion rights into federal law “we should provide an exception to the filibuster to deal with the Supreme Court decision.”
"We have to codify Roe v. Wade into law," President Biden says.
"If the filibuster gets in the way … we should provide an exception to the filibuster to deal with the Supreme Court decision." pic.twitter.com/mnHPZKY6FI
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 30, 2022
The President’s statement is the most concrete call to action from Democratic leadership for a pathway towards legislative action since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Biden indicated that he would be “talking to the governors” as to what actions he and his administration should be taking to protect abortion access in the absence of a federal guarantee.
Democrats have been widely criticized for failing to have a planned response to the overturning of Roe, particularly after a draft of the court’s opinion was leaked to Politico in early May. Biden and members of the administration have avoided commitment to executive action as a stopgap to the court’s decision.
Vice President Kamala Harris was recently questioned by CNN’s Dana Bash about Democrats’ willingness to end the filibuster in order to pass legislation protecting abortion rights. Harris responded that “given the current composition of the Senate, the votes aren’t there.” The VP instead called for voters to participate in the November midterm elections.
.@VP pointed to the 2022 midterms and the importance of electing more democrats to the Senate to pass abortion protections. But I pushed Harris – who also serves as President of the Senate – on whether the administration will take a position on bypassing the filibuster. pic.twitter.com/gehNzXPXJZ
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) June 28, 2022
Biden’s call for a filibuster exemption would require a Senate majority to approve the temporary rule change. The proposal’s main barrier would be opposition to the rule change from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Outside of convincing them and the other 48 Democratic senators to accept the temporary rule change and having VP Harris serve as a tie breaking vote, Democrats would need to gain two senate seats in the November midterms to make the plan feasible.