Tuesday 15 November 2022

‘Going To Maintain Our Positions’: Biden Offers Low Expectations On Abortion Legislation After Midterms

 President Joe Biden told reporters on Monday that he did not expect much change regarding abortion rights following the midterm elections.

Biden made the remarks during his trip to Bali, Indonesia.

“I don’t think they can expect much of anything other than we’re going to maintain our positions,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s enough votes to codify, unless something happens unusual in the House. I think we’re going to get very close in the House. But I don’t — I think it’s going to be very close, but I don’t think we’re going to make it,” he added.

The responses follow an intense week of midterm election results that include some races that have still not been projected. The current House results show Republicans with 212 projected seats, with Democrats at 201; 218 seats are needed for a majority.

Though the predicted conservative “red wave” fizzled, Republicans are still expected to win a majority in the House.

In the Senate, Democrats are projected to win 50 seats, with Republicans at 49, according to Decision Desk HQ. The projections leave the chamber in the power of Democrats, though one seat remains to be determined in a runoff election.

Georgia’s Senate battle between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican hopeful Herschel Walker left both candidates below the 50% mark in a race that included a third-party candidate. According to state law, the top two candidates will face one another in a runoff battle on December 6.

Biden said in October that his first legislative priority would be to codify abortion rights overturned by the Supreme Court in June if Democrats held control of the House and Senate.

“And I’ve said before: The Court got Roe right nearly 50 years ago, and I believe Congress should codify Roe once and for all,” Biden said. “Right now, we’re short a handful of votes. If you care about the right to choose, then you got to vote. That’s why, in these midterm elections, it’s so critical to elect more Democratic senators to the United States Senate and more Democrats to keep control of the House of Representatives.”

“And, folks, if we do that, here is the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill that I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade. And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided the law of the land,” he added.

Vice President Kamala Harris also called to codify Roe in September as the Justice Department sued Texas over a state law that restricts abortions after six weeks.

“The right of women to make decisions about their own bodies is not negotiable,” she said.

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