This week, Democrat Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona dashed the hopes of their more radical colleagues amid renewed calls to pass a federal law that would overrule state limits or prohibitions on abortion.
Calls for slim Democrat majorities in the House and Senate to quickly advance a bill, the inaccurate and grossly named "Women's Health Protection Act," that would codify Roe v. Wade's concocted right to abortion were swift. Almost a little too swift, perhaps, in the wake of an unprecedented leak from the Supreme Court that showed a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito overturning Roe.
The bill was already passed by Speaker Pelosi's Democrat caucus in the House of Representatives, but in order to get the legislation past the Senate and on to President Biden's desk for signature, the bill would need to garner 60 votes in order to move the bill to a final vote, something that's just not going to happen with the current 50-50 split.
So, again, norm-shattering Dems called for the termination of the legislative filibuster requiring 60 votes to move bills ahead for a vote so they could force the Women's Health Protection Act through. But again, Senators Manchin and Sinema aren't having it.
In a statement released and tweeted by Senator Sinema, she restated her position that a "woman's healthcare choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor," but explained why she won't nuke the filibuster in order to pass a shortsighted Democrat bill.
Statement on Draft Supreme Court Opinion pic.twitter.com/3GYIF3YnM7— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) May 3, 2022
"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," Sinema's statement explained in her defense of the legislative filibuster. Without it, a future slim Republican majority could advance pretty much anything they want, including federal restrictions on abortion.
Sinema has staunchly defended the procedural hurdle amid crushing pressure from her own side of the aisle — and calls for violence against her from former Democrat officials — to join them in ending its protection against slim majorities being able to ram through whatever legislation they want. So too, has Senator Manchin.
His response to questions about joining radical Democrats to end the legislative filibuster was predictable and in-line with his previous defense of its preservation:
“The filibuster is the protection of democracy,” Manchin tells me + @mkraju when asked whether his position on the filibuster remains the same today.— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) May 3, 2022
So, Democrat hopes both for smashing the legislative filibuster and codifying Roe v. Wade are more or less done for. The midterms are just over six months away, the Senate is nearing the cutoff point before lawmaking slows for campaigning to take place, and there's more than a good chance Democrats won't be in control when the new Congress in sworn in. Will these realities stop Democrats and President Biden from shaking their fists and throwing tantrums? Probably not. But for now, attempts to codify Roe and a Democrat-invented right to abortion have been stopped.
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