President Joe Biden on Thursday said he would support suspending the Senate filibuster rule to codify the constitutional right to an abortion as established by the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 ruling to Roe v. Wade.
His comments represent critical support for suspending a key procedural hurdle that has thus far prevented Senate Democrats from passing legislation that would make the decision federal law. Current Senate rules require the majority party to muster 60 votes to overcome the minority’s attempt to block the advance of a bill, a procedural action known as a filibuster.
“I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law. And the way to do that is to make sure Congress votes to do that,” Biden told reporters in Spain.
But with the Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, the GOP has been able to use the filibuster rule to stop the slim Democratic majority from approving abortion bills.
“If the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, we provide an exception for this,” Biden said. “We require an exception of the filibuster for this action.”
The president doubled down on his stance later in the day in a post to Twitter.
Biden’s comments come a week after the nation’s highest court overturned nearly 50 years of legal precedent by reversing its original opinion that women have a constitutional right to an abortion.
They also mark the first time the president has publicly supported changing the filibuster rules to pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade into law.
The court’s controversial ruling last week now grants states the power to pass their own abortion laws without worrying about running afoul of the Roe opinion, which had allowed abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.(cnbc.com)