They don’t have the numbers.
On Tuesday (May 3), White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Democrats don’t have enough votes to codify abortion legislation despite President Joe Biden calling for legislation codifying federal protections of abortion access.
Hours before Psaki repeatedly told reporters that Democrats don’t have the votes to pass abortion access legislation, Biden called on voters to elect pro-choice lawmakers, while urging lawmakers to send him a bill to sign into law.
Psaki noted that a vote on the matter had been brought before Congress before and failed.
“It did not even have 50 votes, which means even if the filibuster were overturned, there would not have been enough votes to get this passed,” Psaki added.
Psaki also mentioned that this was “one of many topics” Biden discusses with lawmakers, adding that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has expressed “plans to bring it up again,” but highlighted Biden was calling for voters to elect more pro-choice officials to ensure abortion access could be codified in federal legislation.
When questioned whether Biden could convince some lawmakers to change their vote, Psaki declined to comment.
During the gaggle, Psaki also noted the “unprecedented” nature of the leak.
“It’s unprecedented, or almost unprecedented, depending on what historian you speak to. There’s no question that that raises eyebrows for many in the country, including those of us in the White House.”
However, Psaki added that the focus now is how “we’re going to protect a woman’s right to make choices about her healthcare with her doctor, a right that is supported by the vast majority of the American public, and some call it a political issue. It is not. It is supported by the majority of the American public.”