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Manchin, Sinema dash Biden hopes for filibuster change on abortion rights

World Jul 01, 2022 03:01PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference before departing the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Trevor Hunnicutt, Nandita Bose and Andrea Shalal

MADRID/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Thursday proposed that U.S. senators remove a legislative roadblock to restoring abortion rights that were taken away by the Supreme Court last week, a suggestion that was shot down by aides to key Democratic lawmakers.

Biden's proposal to temporarily lift the Senate "filibuster" was rejected by aides to Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin.

Biden told a news conference at a NATO conference in Madrid that "we have to" pass laws making abortion a right in all 50 U.S. states.

"If the filibuster gets in the way - it's like voting rights - it should be we provide an exception for this," said Biden, a Democrat. Without sufficient votes in Congress to suspend the legislative filibuster, Biden's statement is more of a gesture than a policy plan.

A spokesman for Manchin and an aide to Sinema, who both have opposed suspending the filibuster in the past, told Reuters on Thursday that their respective positions had not changed.

Biden would very likely need their votes for Congress to sidestep the filibuster and pass a law to protect the federal right to abortion.

White House officials did not immediately offer any more details on what the president's strategy would be, or who in the administration would make it a reality.

Biden's new stance, coupled with the announcement of a White House meeting on Friday with state governors on abortion rights, came after sharp criticism from his own party over his response to the Supreme Court ruling overturning U.S. women's right to obtain abortions.

"There has been pressure building up to act and show that we are doing more," said an administration source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The president has always believed something must be done."

The hot-button issue is seen as a potent political force ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections, where Democrats are seeking to retain control of the House of Representatives and Senate. Protecting abortion rights is a top issue for Democratic women, Reuters polling shows https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/POLLING/byprjqmdjpe/democrat.

In recent days, both White House aides and congressional leaders have said they lacked the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster to pass most legislation, including a broad abortion rights bill.

As recently as May, all 50 Republicans and Manchin voted against advancing legislation making abortion legal throughout the United States.

In January, a voting rights bill failed in the Senate eight days after Biden tried to propel it to passage by supporting a filibuster carve-out.

Biden had previously endorsed bypassing the filibuster in only limited cases, such as for voting rights and avoiding a debt default, but not for abortion rights.

On Thursday, he said the filibuster carve-out should apply not just to abortion but to other rights based on privacy, a likely reference to contraception and gay rights.

Biden has grown more open to bypassing the filibuster in recent months to protect fundamental rights, according to people familiar with the matter, but aides have debated the merits of making any statement on the issue until after the midterms, when Democrats could theoretically gain seats in the Senate.

The White House plans a range of executive actions in the coming days on abortion rights, and has also promised to protect women who cross state lines for abortions and support for medical abortion.

Media reports in recent days, including from Reuters, that the White House was unlikely to take up Democrats' bolder suggestions to protect abortion rights angered some in the president's own party.

Biden and administration officials have been concerned that more radical moves would be politically polarizing, undermine public trust in institutions like the Supreme Court or lack strong legal footing, sources inside and outside the White House said.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Democratic lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez juxtaposed a Reuters report about Biden's unwillingness to take some steps on abortion with a New York Times report on Democrats' doubts on whether he will seek re-election in 2024, suggesting there was some connection.

"Now we're talking," Ocasio-Cortez said after Biden's remarks on the filibuster. "Time for people to see a real, forceful push for it. Use the bully pulpit. We need more."

Manchin, Sinema dash Biden hopes for filibuster change on abortion rights
 

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Comments (14)
gab nea
gab nea Jul 04, 2022 6:12PM ET
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you are not born till you are born. guys should carry babies so they would learn back alley abortions!
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jul 04, 2022 6:12PM ET
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Stupid.. missed bio class where they teach life begins at conception.. straight D student?
First Last
First Last Jul 04, 2022 6:12PM ET
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Co Gonz   You missed the part where "born till you are born" has nothing to do w/ when life begins.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Jul 02, 2022 12:18PM ET
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Liberals give more right and protection to flipping fish roe, than the do human roe and fetuses.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jul 02, 2022 12:18PM ET
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Human roe!?!? LOL. Comrade, your English stinks. No borscht for you.
taylor jason
taylor jason Jul 02, 2022 12:18PM ET
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what a grammatically incorrect sentence. before you criticize others you should really learn how to speak/write first
First Last
First Last Jul 02, 2022 12:18PM ET
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That's b.s.  It's a matter of weighting the rights/interest of the pregnant much higher than the retrumplicans do.
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jul 02, 2022 12:18PM ET
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taylor jason those that resort to attacks have already lost the argument..
First Last
First Last Jul 02, 2022 12:18PM ET
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Co Gonz   Those who don't communicate well enough to make the argument can't lose the argument that was never made.
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Jul 01, 2022 7:28PM ET
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believe the science:covid vaccines don't do 💩Males are XY and females are XX and no matter how much you say your the other, your Not!babies heartbeat means that it's a life.
Matthew Petyk
Matthew Petyk Jul 01, 2022 5:41PM ET
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Even IF congress were to pass a law codifying ******** that doesn't mean it wouldn't get stuck down by the SC.
Will Bowers
Will Bowers Jul 01, 2022 4:09PM ET
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Time to abolish an out of control Federal government and return the power to the individual states
First Last
First Last Jul 01, 2022 4:09PM ET
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The Republicans have already said they'll make abort ion ban nationwide.  Their agenda never included state power.
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jul 01, 2022 4:09PM ET
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First Last obviously you don’t understand.. that would only impact federal funding to PP. states have their last say. Proof: *******is federally illegal but states allow to a certain point each different
First Last
First Last Jul 01, 2022 4:09PM ET
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Co Gonz  You don't understand.  Republicans aim to change federal laws to override state laws that allow *****
Jack Peterson
Jack Peterson Jul 01, 2022 7:42AM ET
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AOC = counterproductive and wrong on every topic….
carol ruszin
carol ruszin Jul 01, 2022 7:42AM ET
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Men need to get on the side of womans rights. AOC is right on target. WOMANS RIGHTS.
Matthew Petyk
Matthew Petyk Jul 01, 2022 7:42AM ET
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.. and what about the child?? does that little girl or boy deserve a chane to breath/laugh/cry and have the same right to life you have??? the pro-womans rights movement has really taken on a narcissistic, self-centered position. sorry but *******is NOT Healthcare and the child's life is not disposable.
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Jul 01, 2022 7:42AM ET
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how about child's rights?we went to war when hisler ki--ed far fewer people than abortions. I believe in the right to choose because some people should just not be parents or pass their DNA down. Democrats kept pushing the limits and want *******up till birth. that's just sick. most Americans would support a reasonable 12 weeks, like most of the rest of the world. what CHOICE does the baby have?
First Last
First Last Jul 01, 2022 7:42AM ET
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Republicans aren't going for a balance between women's & fetal rights.  They're going for all fetal/
ge Kret
ge Kret Jul 01, 2022 2:37AM ET
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Broke back middle what Joe?
First Last
First Last Jun 30, 2022 3:05PM ET
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REpublicans love to "vote for a corrupt rich old white male who has been" grifting for "over half a century and who now has dementia".
Show previous replies (11)
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jun 30, 2022 3:05PM ET
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Co gonz: Get your head out of your sis *ster's ****. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/joe-biden-kamala-harris-2021-tax-returns-white-house
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jun 30, 2022 3:05PM ET
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First Last if they were benefiting off joe biden and kicken him up money.. obviously he’s in business with joe and it’s a family business.. therefore legally needs to releqse which is why the fbi is still investigating
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jun 30, 2022 3:05PM ET
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Brad Albright resorting to attacks prove you’ve lost the argument.. should read plato and learn how to create an argument.. biden or harris never released- that’s what the issue was.. they released wrong data and at that left it too much out.. as per the fbi
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jun 30, 2022 3:05PM ET
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First Last interested how you know if trump hasn’t released any info and his company is private
First Last
First Last Jun 30, 2022 3:05PM ET
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Co Gonz    "if trump hasn’t released any info" --  There's been subpoenas & gov't investigations and leaks.  Other people, like Michael Cohens, had released info..  How  clueless are you?
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jun 30, 2022 1:58PM ET
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America, meet your new senators John Fetterman and Cheri Beasley
Butch Einsel
Butch Einsel Jun 30, 2022 1:58PM ET
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Fetterman is a Tom Wolfe clone has done nothing for Pennsylvania .
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jun 30, 2022 1:58PM ET
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Hmm. Interesting comparison. I'll have to think about that.
Ron Tinari
Ron Tinari Jun 30, 2022 1:58PM ET
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That's brilliant, Fetterman just had a stroke and you think he should be a senator. l guess one more mentally compromised politician wouldn't hurt anything since they all are anyway. Living in Cambria County, PA I can give you an idea of the lawn signs in favor of him. 👎👎👎👎👎👎
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jun 30, 2022 1:58PM ET
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A stroke is far from disqualifying. (See FDR). Cambria county is a nice place (I camped there once) but it is a Republican echo chamber in a state that went for Biden, so your anecdotal observations might not mean much.
First Last
First Last Jun 30, 2022 1:52PM ET
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"forced to get abortions" -- Sounds like something the Na zi and the CCP do.
First Last
First Last Jun 30, 2022 1:52PM ET
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carlos guo   Sorry if you were being sarcastic.  Should make your sarcasm more obvious since there has been others saying similar bs here and they were serious.
First Last
First Last Jun 30, 2022 1:52PM ET
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Quite a stretch to say a misunderstanding over sarcasm prove a point of Carlos.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jun 30, 2022 1:52PM ET
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First Last I feel sorry for Carlos. All that keyboard pounding only to have his comments deleted. Do you think they know he's in Russia?
 
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