October 18, 2022

Whatever else you think of Speaker Pelosi, she knows how to pass legislation and how to count votes. So, when MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell suggested that if only President Joe Biden had pushed harder, Roe v. Wade might have been codified, Pelosi set her straight.

In an interview that aired on MSNBC today, Mitchell asked Pelosi why Biden waited “until now to make this major push” for national abortion rights. Mitchell noted that the House had already passed a bill that had failed in the Senate. “Why didn’t the president really push for that last fall when outrage over the draft opinion showed the handwriting was on the wall?”

Actually, the draft opinion was in the spring. And Biden had some other legislation priorities, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as a gun control bill, the CHIPS act, the veterans' health care bill and NATO expansion. Oh, yeah, there was student debt relief, too. All those were accomplished over the summer.

So why would Biden waste time on a bill that was never going to pass the Senate?

“We don’t have 60 votes in the Senate,” Pelosi told Mitchell.

Mitchell refused to give up her gotcha. “You don’t think he could have pushed harder on the Senate last spring?” she asked.

Pelosi shot back: “Do you think we would have gotten 10 Republican votes? Oh, come on. With all due respect, the fact is, we need to get two more Democratic votes to push back the filibuster,” she said.

She went on to predict that abortion rights will be codified into federal law on the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. That’s in January, in case you’re wondering.

That remains to be seen. But we know and Andrea Mitchell knows that the Senate would not have passed an abortion protection bill no matter how hard Biden pushed. Probably if he had pushed, Mitchell would have questioned why he had spent so much time, energy and political capital on a doomed prospect.

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