Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has repeatedly shown his ineptitude when it comes to leading Democrats in the upper chamber, and he did so again in spectacular fashion on Wednesday afternoon. In what he seems to think was a grand gesture to prove his party's commitment to a woman's (birthing person's?) right to kill her unborn child only put Democrats on the record supporting a bill that's more radical than Roe ever was.
After the unprecedented leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion signaling that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, Schumer jumped into action and called for the passage of a bill to supposedly "codify" Roe in federal law. But he once again failed to do the math among his own caucus or the Senate as a whole before holding what became nothing but a failed show vote to prove Democrats support radical abortion rights that go beyond what even most pro-abortion Americans support.
The vote to break a Republican filibuster and move to the final vote on the "Women's Health Protection Act" came down 51-49, with every Democrat but one voting to move ahead — Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined all the Republicans to block the legislation from moving forward.
Sixty votes were necessary to end debate on the bill and move ahead — but that threshold was never going to be met. Even if, somehow, enough Republicans agreed to vote with all the Democrats to move forward to a vote on the bill, Schumer didn't have the 50 votes necessary to achieve a tie that would be broken by Vice President Kamala Harris to pass the measure after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he opposed the Women's Health Protection Act outright.
MANCHIN: "Make no mistake. It is not Roe v. Wade codification. It's an expansion. It wipes 500 state laws off the books. It expands abortion." pic.twitter.com/yfj6w3gTXU— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 11, 2022
The legislative vehicle for Schumer and Democrats' plan, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously passed through the House of Representatives, does far more than "codify" the right to abortion manufactured in the Court's decision in federal law. That claim was thoroughly debunked by Guy here in a deep-dive on the "appalling and extreme departure from the current status quo" the bill Schumer pushed to a failed vote on Wednesday would be:
In summary, the Democratic bill would make elective abortions legal across the entire country for all nine months of pregnancy (with "mental health" loopholes eliminating any real limitations), eliminating virtually all existing state-level restrictions (including lopsidedly popular ones), gutting conscience protections for healthcare workers who don't want to participate in abortions, allowing non-doctors to facilitate the abortions, and likely forcing taxpayers to finance all of it. Short of endorsing post-birth infanticide or instituting CCP-style compulsory abortions, it's hard to imagine a more extreme piece of legislation on this issue. Dressing this up as "codifying Roe" is astoundingly dishonest, yet it's mindlessly -- or perhaps not so mindlessly -- repeated by journalists, ad nauseam.
The WHPA is so radical that, as Wednesday's vote showed, not even all Democrats supported the measure, nor did liberal Republicans such as Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Schumer, apparently, didn't do the math or didn't care he was leading his caucus to yet another defeat on a divisive issue that hasn't been seen to motivate Democrats ahead of the midterms.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel reacted to the defeat of the Democrats' latest attempt to enact radical abortion policies "is another reminder of how extreme and out of touch they are. Americans overwhelmingly support commonsense pro-life protections and limits on abortion, but Democrats are doubling down on taxpayer-funded, unlimited abortion on demand up to the moment of birth," McDaniel said. "Voters will hold Biden and Democrats accountable for being radical, cruel, and anti-science come November.”