President Joe Biden said Thursday he backs an "exception" to Senate filibuster rules to codify abortion rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.
"If the filibuster gets in the way, it's like voting rights," Biden said during a press conference in Madrid, where he was attending a NATO summit. Biden, a Democrat, said there should be an “exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision.”
As a former senator, Biden has been reluctant to support changes to the filibuster, which allows any member of the 100-member chamber to block action on legislation unless it receives 60 votes. However, earlier this year he endorsed sidestepping the rule on the issue of voting rights, and his latest comments make clear that he's willing to do the same for abortion.
Biden's support for changes to the filibuster in the 50-50 Senate may ultimately be immaterial. The Senate Democrat caucus would need to unanimously take such a step, but at least two Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, don't want to.
Biden called the Supreme Court's decision ending the right to abortion “destabilizing” but said it does not affect U.S. standing on the world stage, as he took credit for modernizing the transatlantic alliance to adapt to new threats from Russia and China.
"I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law. And the way to do that is to make sure that the Congress votes to do that and if the filibuster gets in the way, it's like voting rights, it should be ... an exception ... to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision," Biden told reporters in Madrid.
Biden was speaking to reporters at the conclusion of a five-day foreign trip to huddle with NATO allies in Madrid and the leaders of the Group of Seven advanced democratic economies in the Bavarian Alps, which came as the nation was still grappling with the fallout from Friday's Supreme Court decision.
“America is better positioned to lead the world than we ever have been,” Biden said. “But one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of United States in overruling not only Roe v. Wade, but essentially challenging the right to privacy.”
He added: “I could understand why the American people are frustrated because of what the Supreme Court did."
The three-day summit included the Biden administration announcing plans to permanently bolster the U.S. military presence in Europe, an agreement between Turkey, Finland and Sweden to pave the way for the accession of Nordic nations into NATO, and the alliance updating its strategic concept reflect that China’s “coercive policies” are a challenge the Western bloc’s interests.
“I think we can all agree that this has been a historic NATO Summit,” Biden said, speaking to reporters at a summit closing news conference.
Biden noted the last time NATO updated its strategic concept 12 years ago, Russia was characterized as a partner, and the document didn’t even mention China. The new document hammered out at the summit changes that.
“The world has changed, changed a great deal since then,” Biden said. “This summit was about strengthening our alliances, meeting the challenges of our world as it is a day, and the threats we’re going to face in the future,” Biden said.
This report is compiled from Newsmax wire services.
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