Democrats to force vote next week on Roe v. Wade decision
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) will force a vote next week on legislation codifying Roe v. Wade in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court draft decision that would strike down the landmark case.
The test procedural vote is guaranteed to fall short because the bill needs 60 votes to advance, but Democrats are eager to make Republicans go on the record and show their own voters that they are fighting.
“Next week the U.S. Senate is going to vote on legislation to codify a woman’s right to seek abortion into federal law,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.
Schumer will move to tee up the bill on Monday, setting up an initial vote for Wednesday.
It will be the second vote Schumer has forced on the issue. The Senate previously rejected a similar bill in a 46-48 vote earlier this year, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voting with Senate Republicans.
Democrats have made changes to the bill to address concerns and shore up support within their conference. That includes striking a nonbinding “findings” section that, among other provisions, referred to restrictions on abortion as perpetuating “white supremacy” and called it a “tool of gender oppression.”
It’s not clear if those changes will be enough to get all 50 Democrats. Manchin indicated that he hadn’t yet seen the updated text, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he wasn’t sure if they would be able to pick up Manchin’s vote.
The vote comes as Republicans have largely gone quiet over the potential that Roe v. Wade could be struck down, instead focusing on the draft ruling being leaked.
“This lawless action should be investigated and punished to the fullest extent possible, the fullest extent possible,” Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said during a floor speech earlier this week.
A Politico-Morning Consult poll released Wednesday found that 50 percent of voters believe the landmark case that guarantees abortion access should not be overturned, while 28 percent said that it should be overturned.
“All week we’ve been seeing Republicans try to duck, dodge and dip from their responsibility for bringing Roe to the brink of total repeal,” Schumer said.
“Next week the American people will see crystal clear that when given the chance to right this wrong, the Republican Party will either side with the extremists who want to ban abortion without exceptions or side with women, with families and with the vast majority of Americans,” Schumer added.
GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine), who both voted against the Democratic bill earlier this year, have introduced a narrower bill to codify Roe.
They are in talks with their colleagues to try to build support for the legislation as they push for a vote.
“I’ve been having discussions with some of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” Collins said.
Manchin, asked about the bill, stopped short of saying he was open to it but that “we’re looking at that.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said he was talking with Collins.
“I’ve talked with Senator Collins with her bill with Senator Murkowski and I’m hoping we can find some common ground,” Durbin said.
—Updated at 1:42 p.m.