President Biden on Thursday called on the Senate to make an exception to its filibuster rules to allow Congress to codify abortion protections and privacy rights previously afforded under Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision overturned by the Supreme Court last week.
The president voiced his support for temporarily changing Senate rules, something he generally opposes, during a press conference following a NATO summit in Madrid. The president also blasted the Supreme Court’s decision to nix the constitutional right to an abortion as “destabilizing” and “outrageous.”
“The most important thing to be clear about is, we have to change — I believe we codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure Congress votes to do that,” Mr. Biden told reporters Thursday. “And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be — we provide an exception for this. We require an exception to the filibuster for this action.”
At the moment, there don’t appear to be enough votes in the Senate to allow for such a rule exception. In May, the Senate fell far short of an effort to enshrine abortion access into law.
The president insisted the country is in a better position to lead the world now than it ever was, but voiced his belief that the Supreme Court’s decision is the one blight on that standing.
“America is better positioned to lead the world than we ever have been,” Mr. Biden said. “We have the strongest economy in the world, our inflation rates are lower than other nations in the world. The one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States on overruling not only Roe v. Wade, but essentially challenging the right to privacy.”
The president said he thinks it’s a “serious problem that the court has thrust upon the United States,” and expressed concerns about the right to choose who to marry, among “a whole range of issues related to privacy.”
The president confirmed he’s meeting with a group of governors Friday when he returns to the White House about next steps on abortion access. Despite his personal apprehension about abortion in the past, the president swatted aside any notions that he isn’t the best messenger for the Democratic Party on the matter.
“I’m the only president they got,” he said. “And I feel extremely strongly that I’m going to do everything in my power which I legally can do in terms of executive orders, as well as push the Congress and the public. The bottom line here is — if you care, 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. Vote in the off year and vote, vote, vote. That’s how we’ll change it.”
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