(Headline USA) President Joe Biden attempted to signal to his donor base that he would continue to prioritize their top concern over the economic anxieties of middle-class Americans, leaving his press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre once again scrambling to clarify his intentions.
Doocy to KJP: "You just said [inflation's] his #1 economic priority. We've heard the President say inflation is his top domestic priority, but now he's saying, come next year, his first bill would be abortion-related. So, is his #1 domestic priority abortion or is it inflation?" pic.twitter.com/PMMhtwUgD3
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 18, 2022
Biden promised Tuesday that the first bill he sends to Capitol Hill next year will be one that writes abortion protections into law—if Democrats control enough seats in Congress to pass it.
Twice over, Biden urged people to remember how they felt in late June when the Supreme Court overturned the federal abortion mandate established by the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
With little else working in their favor, Democrats have sought to make it their signature issue, along with investigating the uprising at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“I want to remind us all how we felt when 50 years of constitutional precedent was overturned,” Biden said in remarks at Washington, D.C.’s Howard Theatre, “the anger, the worry, the disbelief.”
He repeatedly lambasted Republicans and told Democrats in attendance that “if you care about the right to choose, then you gotta vote.”
As he has done all year, Biden emphasized that only Congress can fully restore abortion access to what it was before the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, which overturned Roe.
But he also acknowledged “we’re short a handful of votes” now to reinstate abortion protections at the federal level, urging voters to send more Democrats to Congress.
“If we do that, here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill that I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade,” Biden said. “And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided the law of the land.”
That’s a big if.
For Biden to follow through on his pledge, Democrats would have to retain control of the House and pick up seats in the Senate—an unlikely scenario considering current political dynamics.
The economy and inflation still rank as chief concern for most voters, with abortion also trailing behind violent crime and the administration’s open-borders policy.
All are self-inflicted, unforced errors that the Left has continued to ignore and downplay while carping on their own radical agenda.
Even if Democrats gain one or two seats in the Senate and manage, miraculously, to hold the House of Representatives, they still would not have adequate votes to pass the controversial law under normal Senate rules, meaning they would have to revisit the deeply unpopular possibility of abolishing the filibuster.
Long resistant to any revisions to Senate institutional rules when, prior to his own administration, functional governments relied on bipartisan compromise to hammer out agreements, Biden has now fully flip-flopped and seems eager to make the norm-violating measure a part of the Left’s agenda in its own right.
But two Senate Democrats—Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia—have refused to go along. Sinema has said she wants to retain the filibuster precisely so any abortion restrictions backed by Republicans would face a much higher hurdle to pass in the Senate.
In fundraisers and in political speeches, Biden has vowed to reject any abortion restrictions that may come to his desk in a GOP-controlled Congress.
While abortion may rank low on the register of many GOP priorities, pro-life conservatives like Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, say the stakes of next month’s midterm elections “could not be higher.”
“Doubling down on an extreme agenda of abortion on demand until birth won’t stop Democrats from losing Congress, even with the abortion industry spending record sums to elect them,” Dannenfelser said. “Biden’s party is on the wrong side and stunningly out of touch.”
Though his remarks were primarily focused on abortion, Biden also mentioned his decisions to transfer billions of dollars in student loan debt from borrowers to taxpayers, and to issue a massive blanket pardon for those convicted of marijuana possession—moves he hopes might be popular with younger voters.
“What I am saying is, you represent the best of us. Your generation will not be ignored, will not be shunned and will not be silent,” Biden said. “In 2020, you voted to deliver the change you wanted to see in the world. In 2022, you need to exercise your power to vote again for the future of our nation and the future of your generation.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press