Progressive Caucus Slams Senate For Killing Abortion Bill Even Dems Say Went Too Far

By Charles Susswein | Sunday, 15 May 2022 05:15
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The Senate failed in a 49-51 vote to codify abortion rights Wednesday afternoon in a bill that even some moderate abortion rights advocates announced went too far.

The bill was supposed to fail yet gave Democrats an opportunity to display support for abortion rights publicly -even Vice President Kamala Harris showed up to the Capitol to preside over the vote.

A group of fired-up female members of the House Progressive Caucus marched toward the Senate side chanting “my body, my decision” as the upper chamber voted on the House-passed bill.

The bill would have required 60 votes, 10 from Republicans. However, it failed to garner even a simple majority as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voted against it, as did pro-choice Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, and Susan Collins, Maine. Murkowski and Collins had submitted their own more narrow bill to codify abortion rights, the Reproductive Choice Act, though Schumer declined to put it up for a vote.

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“We’re going to be voting on a piece of legislation, which I will not vote for today.,” Manchin explained to reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

“But I would vote for a Roe v. Wade codification if it was today – I was hopeful for that,” the West Virginia Democrat confirmed. “But I found out yesterday in the caucus that wasn’t going to be and you probably heard of that by now.”

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In a show-vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to file cloture to stop Republicans filibustering the Women’s Health Protection Act, which was presented by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Schumer knew he didn’t have the votes required to make the landmark abortion case federal law though he wanted to put anti-abortion lawmakers on the record and give Democrats a pro-choice vote to take home before the midterm elections.

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Schumer, ahead of the vote, insisted that his GOP colleagues were “hellbent on sending women’s rights back to the stone age” and explained the public “will not forget” at election time.

The effort comes after Democrats tried to get the same bill through in February, yet the measure has more urgency now that a Supreme Court leak shows a draft opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion constitutionally protected.

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President Biden denounced the bill’s failure in a statement after the vote yet dangled a potential future passing in front of voters before the midterm elections.

“Senate Republicans have blocked passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that affirmatively protects access to reproductive health care. This failure to act comes at a time when women’s constitutional rights are under unprecedented attack – and it runs counter to the will of the majority of American people,” Biden announced.

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