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(Audio Credit: The White House)
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked aboard Air Force One by a reporter on Tuesday whether President Joe Biden intended to codify Roe vs. Wade into law and she bluntly pointed out that even without the filibuster, there just weren’t enough votes to pass a federal abortion law.
Psaki was en route to Alabama when she was quizzed over Roe vs. Wade. That occurred not too long after Biden made comments on the leaked draft opinion by the Supreme Court that was given to Politico, indicating it would overturn the landmark abortion case.
Biden has previously called for the codifying of Roe vs. Wade. In a statement, he also urged voters to get out and vote more pro-choice officials into office. He made further remarks on the tarmac saying the same thing just before he left for Alabama.
“So, the president spoke pretty passionately on the tarmac about the Alito draft being an affront to basic rights. But he also said he was not ready to commit to ending the filibuster to codify Roe. Why?” the reporter asked aboard the plane, according to the official transcript. “And is there a disconnect here between the passion and what needs — what he believes needs to be done?”
My statement on the reported Supreme Court decision draft. pic.twitter.com/Kt3bP0kzqU
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 3, 2022
“Well, first, let me say the president’s position is that we need to codify Roe, and that is what he has long called on Congress to act on,” she responded.
“What is also true is that there has been a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act which would do exactly that, and there were not even enough votes, even if there was no filibuster, to get that done,” Psaki explained to the gaggle of reporters.
“So, I would note, in his written statement that we released this morning — I’m just going to reiterate what he said in this statement. He said, ‘…if the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose’ — to do exactly that. ‘It will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation.’ And that was speaking to exactly where we are with the votes,” she continued.
At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 4, 2022
“I would note that while we’ve been in the air, Leader Schumer noted that he had plans to bring this up for a vote,” Psaki reported.
When asked about the president’s “engagement with lawmakers” concerning the protection of abortion rights, Psaki reiterated her point.
“Well, I think it’s important to note that there has been a vote on this; it failed. It did not have even 50 votes, which means even if the filibuster were overturned, there would have not been enough votes to get this passed. He has stated this many times publicly. This is his known position. This is many of — one of many topics he discusses with lawmakers,” she contended.
“I would note again that Leader Schumer indicated he plans to bring it up again. But in the president’s statement, just to reiterate, what he pointed to is the fact that there needs to be a more — more pro-choice officials after the elections in November,” Psaki stressed.
The Senate will vote on protecting a woman’s right to choose.
Americans will see where every single senator stands. pic.twitter.com/9DlhIEE6cW
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 4, 2022
She also criticized “these consistent attacks by a party that represents a minority of Americans” throughout the press gaggle, ostensibly referring to Republicans.
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