Moderate Democrat Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema left President Joe Biden’s plans to suspend the legislative filibuster dead in the water on Wednesday.
On Wednesday morning Joe Biden gave a speech in which he proposed Democrats suspending the Senate legislative filibuster until his party could codify abortion access into a national right. The move came after the Supreme Court reversed the decision in Roe v Wade, allowing states to outright ban abortion if they so please.
Both Senators Manchin and Sinema were quick to shoot down the President’s proposal within hours of the speech. Manchin’s office told a DailyMail reporter that his position hasn’t changed on the issue despite the ruling from the country’s highest court.
Sinema’s office took it even a step further, referring back to a statement she made on the filibuster in the past that read: “Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever.”
Both Senators have continuously opposed radical legislative ideas from their party’s progressive wings in the past, including ending the filibuster which requires 60 votes to pass many new laws and refusing to expand the Supreme Court.
Biden was speaking to reporters in Spain following the end of the NATO conference when he brought up the Court’s repeal of Roe, saying it challenged Americans’ “right to privacy” and suggesting that it is now on Congress to act to restore abortion protections.
“The way to do that is to make sure that Congress votes to do that. And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be we provide an exception for this,” the president said.
Biden was likely hoping their positions had changed on the issue when he made his announcement. Earlier this week Senator Manchin put out a statement saying he had been lied to by both Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch when they interviewed for the Court. Both had suggested to him and other Senators that they would not try and challenge the established Case law of Roe V Wade. Both Justices then voted to strike down the law this year.
It seems like Biden’s intuition on this one was off and he still cannot even round up the votes in his own party to enact his plan. Most likely Manchin and Sinema are worried about what Republicans could do in 2023 if they win back the Senate and the filibuster rule has been suspended. Do you think Biden has any other options in this fight or was the filibuster plan his last real move?