President Joe Biden retracted his pledge to codify Roe v. Wade as his first piece of legislation following the midterm elections on Monday, citing the likelihood of a Republican House as the reason.
“Mr. President what should Americans expect from Congress as it relates to abortion rights after the midterms?” Peter Alexander of NBC screamed at Vice President Biden during a question-and-answer session following his speech with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Indonesia. Biden stated that he had been instructed to call on four reporters, and this query seemed to be an unexpected fifth question shouted from the sidelines.
“I don’t think they can expect much of anything other than we’re going to maintain our positions. I’m not going to get into more questions. I shouldn’t even have answered your question,” Biden 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. I think we’re going to be very close, but I don’t think we’re going to make it,” he added.
Joe Biden: "I don't think there's enough votes to codify [Roe] unless something happens unusual in the House." pic.twitter.com/ItyIpoQG50
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 14, 2022
Biden has previously emphasized that codifying the federal right to abortion would be his top priority if the Democrats were to win control of the House and Senate.
“The first bill 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,” Biden said in October.
In June, the Supreme Court overruled Roe, leaving abortion rights to the states. Biden has stated that the Democrats require 53 votes in the Senate, but it is improbable that Roe would be codified in the Senate, as 60 votes are necessary to overcome a filibuster.