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Tipsheet

Joe Biden Reveals His Top Priority for the New Congress... It's Not What You'd Think

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

President Joe Biden appeared at yet another DNC event in the non-battleground of Washington, D.C. on Tuesday flanked by signs declaring "RESTORE ROE" to again talk about abortion. He's apparently stuck on the topic, despite the fact that his near-constant ranting on the subject has not made it a top priority for Americans preparing to vote in the midterms just three weeks away. 

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Biden used his remarks to declare that, if Democrats retain control of Congress next year, his first priority will be to sign a bill into law granting sweeping allowances for abortion, often misidentified as merely "codifying Roe." Guy had a great explainer here on the Democrats' previous attempts to legalize almost all abortion, for any reason, at any time, and go far beyond what Roe ever permitted by striking down state laws offering some restrictions and policies that enjoy significant support among Americans.  

Biden's plan, apparently — if Democrats are able to deny Republicans their red wave in the House and expand a Senate majority — is to make the first bill he sends to the new Congress be one to "codify" Roe and then sign it into law near the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's opinion in Roe v. Wade on January 22, 2023. 

"I want you to remember that the final say does not rest in the court now," Biden said of the summer's Supreme Court decision in Dobbs that struck down Roe v. Wade and returned decision making power on abortion to the states and Americans' elected representatives. "It does not rest with extremist Republicans in Congress," Biden continued before trying to manipulate the lagging issue into a campaign pitch. "Your right to choose rests with you, and if you do your part and vote, Democratic leaders of Congress, I promise you, will do our part. I will do my part," Biden claimed. 

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Yep, his first priority is to again try to get something that was too radical to get through Congress over the last two years and make that a focus of burning what little political capital he has on the Hill. Not inflation, not the energy crisis, not national security, not securing the border, and not cracking down on violent crime. 

Biden's decision to announce the priority three weeks before the midterms is another example of his inability to understand or relate to what the American people are experiencing and where their priorities lie. By an overwhelming margin, the economy is the number one issue on their minds as they head to the polls in the midterms, but Biden doesn't have anything to offer there aside from his empty promises about "build back better" and claims that the Inflation Reduction Act will do anything close to what its name implies — but it won't. 

Instead, Biden still thinks abortion is a winning issue for his party's candidates — even though it isn't a driving factor for voters, barely hanging on in the top five issues in recent polls. 

In Tuesday's White House press briefing, Karine Jean-Pierre would not say whether Biden's top domestic priority was abortion or inflation. Instead, she equivocated and claimed that inflation was Biden's "number one economic priority" despite Biden's previous statement — before declaring that abortion was his main focus on Tuesday — that rising prices were his top "domestic priority." 

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