Biden Flips On Filibuster

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Biden better think twice.

On Thursday (June 30), President Joe Biden suggested the Senate provide an exception to the 60-vote filibuster in order to codify the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, establishing abortion rights.

Speaking at a press conference during the NATO summit in Spain, Biden made remarks about the expected Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade while carving out possible ways to move forward.

“The most important thing to be clear about is I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that,” Biden said.

He then proposed the filibuster be scrapped if it “gets in the way” of passing laws to codify abortion rights, stating that it would be like passing voting rights, before saying, “it should be we provide an exception for this, requiring an exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision.”

Changing the 60-vote filibuster would enable other privacy-preserving rights to be passed with a simple majority, which Democrats have in the Senate with 50 votes and Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote acting as a tie-breaker.

The other privacy-preserving rights Democrats have indicated would be on the agenda include same-sex marriage and access to contraception, after Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a separate opinion that those precedents’ should be revisited.

Yet, this is not the first time Biden’s called for a filibuster carve-out, which would require the support of every Democratic Senator to be passed.

Earlier in the year, Biden also suggested the filibuster exception to pass a voting rights bill but his efforts fell flat when Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Az.) voiced concerns about altering the filibuster.