Biden prioritizes abortion legislation over Midterms – Orange County Register

BY SEUNG MIN KIM | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will promise on Tuesday that the first bill he sends to Capitol Hill next year will be one that would enshrine Roe v. Wade codifies — if Democrats control enough seats in Congress for Biden to sign pro-abortion laws into law. That’s a big if.

It’s the first time Biden has prioritized abortion legislation in this way ahead of the November midterm elections. It is widely predicted that Republicans will at least control the House of Representatives. Abortion rights have been a major motivating factor for Democrats this year, although the economy and inflation are still the top concerns for most voters.

Biden plans to make the remarks at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington. A Democratic official says the president will also create a contrast between his party and Republicans, who are calling for a federal abortion ban that would penalize doctors for performing the procedure.

In his remarks, Biden will say that if Democrats could send Biden legislation legalizing abortion nationwide next year, the president would sign it around the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1973 ruling, which will be at the end of January.

The official viewed Biden’s remarks on condition of anonymity.

It will not be enough for the White House to retain control of both houses of Congress, which is already an uphill battle to enshrine in law the protection of the landmark 1973 ruling. The Senate would have to abolish the filibuster, the legislative rule that requires 60 votes for most bills to advance in the chamber to pass an abortion measure with a simple majority of senators.

Biden long resisted any revisions to Senate institutional rules, saying in the days after the Supreme Court overruled Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson that he would support removing that threshold for abortion legislation, just as he did with voting rights legislation would have.

But two moderate Democrats — Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., and Joe Manchin, W.Va. – support the maintenance of the filibuster. Sinema has said she wants to keep the filibuster just as any Republican-backed abortion restrictions would face a much higher hurdle to pass in the Senate.

Abortion — and suggestions by some Republicans to restrict the procedure nationwide — have been a staple of Biden’s political rhetoric this election cycle as Democrats seek to motivate voters in a difficult mid-season for the party in power in Washington.

At fundraisers and political speeches, Biden has vowed to oppose any abortion restrictions that might come to his desk in a GOP-controlled Congress. He has also urged voters to boost the Democratic ranks in the Senate so that enough senators would not only support reinstating abortion nationwide but would be willing to change Senate rules to do so.

“If you give me two more Democratic senators in the United States Senate, I promise you, I promise you, we’re going to codify Roe,” Biden said at a Democratic National Committee rally in Washington last month. “We will make Roe law of the land again. And we will once again protect women’s right to choose.” Biden prioritizes abortion legislation over Midterms – Orange County Register

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