Mansion, Cinema Dash Biden hopes to bring disruptive change to abortion rights

MADRID/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden proposed on Thursday that US senators remove a legislative hurdle to restore abortion rights that the Supreme Court blocked last week, a motion that aides of key Democratic lawmakers dropped. .

Biden’s proposal to lift the “stall” in the Senate was temporarily rejected by Democratic aides Kirsten Senema and Joe Manchin.

“We” have to pass laws that make abortion a right in all 50 US states, Biden told a news conference at a NATO conference in Madrid.

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“If stalling gets in the way — it’s like voting rights — we should make an exception to this,” Biden, a Democrat, said. Without enough votes in Congress to suspend the legislative block, Biden’s statement is more a gesture than a political plan.

A spokesperson for Mansion and a cinema aide, who have opposed the disruption suspension in the past, told Reuters on Thursday that their positions had not changed.

It is very likely that Biden will need their votes for Congress to bypass the obstruction and pass a law to protect the federal right to abortion. Read more

White House officials did not immediately provide any further details of what the president’s strategy would be, or who in the administration would make it a reality.

Biden’s new stance, along with the announcement of a meeting at the White House on Friday with state governors on abortion rights, came after sharp criticism from his party over his response to the Supreme Court’s ruling revoking the right of American women to have abortions.

“There has been growing pressure to act and show that we are doing more,” said an administration source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The president has always thought that something had to be done.”

The hot issue is seen as a potent political force before the 4th of November. 8 midterm elections where Democrats seek to retain control of the House and Senate. A Reuters poll shows that protecting abortion rights is a major issue for democratic women.

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

Most recently, in May, all 50 Republicans and Mansion voted against developing legislation that would make abortion legal across the United States. Read more

In January, a Senate voting rights bill failed eight days after Biden tried to get it approved by supporting a blocking cut. Read more

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

On Thursday, he said the disruption should apply not just to abortion but to other rights based on privacy, a likely reference to contraceptives and gay rights.

Biden has become more open to bypassing disruption in recent months to protect basic rights, according to people familiar with the matter, but aides have discussed the merits of making any statement on the issue until after the midterms, when Democrats could theoretically secure Senate seats.

The White House is planning a raft of executive actions in the coming days on abortion rights, and has also promised to protect women crossing state borders for abortion and support medical abortion.

Media reports in recent days, including from Reuters, that the White House is unlikely to adopt Democrats’ bolder proposals to protect abortion rights have angered some in the president’s own party.

Sources inside and outside the White House said Biden and administration officials are concerned that more radical moves would be politically polarizing, undermine public confidence in institutions like the Supreme Court, or lack a strong legal basis. Read more

In a tweet on Wednesday, Democratic lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez laid out a Reuters report of Biden’s unwillingness to take some steps on abortion with a New York Times report on Democrats’ doubts about whether he would seek re-election in 2024, suggesting there are some links.

“We’re talking now,” Ocasio-Cortez said after Biden’s comments about the disruption. “It’s time for people to see a real push for it. Use the bully pulpit. We need more.”

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Additional reporting by Richard Cowan. Editing by Heather Timmons and Alistair Bell

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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