Biden says midterms show the United States is ‘ready to play


Biden says midterms show the United States is ‘ready to play
Biden said there likely weren’t enough votes to codify Roe
He said something ‘unusual’ would have to happen in the House
He also likely lacks the votes in the Senate although he did not say so
He spoke as the GOP was on the verge of secure 218 votes for majority

By Geoff Earle, deputy u.s. political editor for in Bali, Indonesia

President Joe Biden admitted for the first time since Democrats kept the Senate and beat expectations in the House that they likely lacked the support to codify Roe v. Wade’s abortion protections.

Asked at a press conference in Bali about the topic – a driving issue in the elections in key House and Senate races – Biden said Monday that ‘I don’t think they can expect too much of anything other than we’re going to maintain our positions’ on the abortion issue.’

Democrats had hoped that by boosting their Senate majority they could try to pass a law restoring protections that the Supreme Court struck down and left up to states.

‘I don’t think there’s enough votes to codify unless something unusual happens in the House,’ said Biden.

The Democratic House passed a bill this year that would have codified Roe, but it couldn’t get through the 50-50 Senate already controlled by Democrats.

Now Democrats are looking at a 50 or 51 seat majority in the Senate. But Biden still likely lacks the votes to jam through procedural changes that would overcome a filibuster, meaning even his narrowly expanded majority isn’t enough.

It was also his first acknowledgement that the House might be just barely out of reach. Although undecided, the GOP might seize a tiny majority. A Republican majority would have no interest in pushing through the protections Biden seeks.

‘I think we’re going to get very close,’ said the president at an event that followed a three-hour meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

‘But I don’t, I think it’s going to be very close – but I don’t think we’re going to do it,’ he said.

The Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to abortion earlier this year, in a ruling that infuriated abortion rights supporters and appear to have helped shape the outcome in key races. A series of conservative states have pushed through new abortion bans or allowed prior bans to take effect.

Biden otherwise cheered the elections that unfolded while he was in Asia, echoing comments by his advisors who said even fellow world leaders were tracking the outcomes in states that would determine the disposition of political power in Washington.

‘There was a strong rejection of political violence and voter intimidation, emphatic statement that American people prevailed’ in the elections, Biden said.

He called the election a ‘rejection of election deniers at every level,’ a reference to the defeat of a series of candidates who backed President Donald Trump’s repeated claims of election fraud despite dozens of court rulings against him.

‘I have I’ve traveled this week. It’s been clear just how closely the world and our allies and our competitors have been following our elections,’ he added.

He said they demonstrated a ‘deep and unwavering commitment’ to ‘preserving democracy.’

He said it showed that America was ‘ready to play,’ and keep pressing its values around the globe.

‘The Democrats are of the view that we’re going to stay fully engaged in the world and that we in fact, know what we’re about,’ he said. He said the results underscored that America ‘is back,’ a favorite phrase.

His comments came after his advisors, as reported earlier, that his advisors were noting that foreign leaders he met in Cambodia were commenting on the U.S. election results.

‘So, it’s interesting to see how closely all of the leaders from these different countries, including leaders from countries that are not themselves democracies, very closely follow American politics, right down to state races that they’re all quite familiar with, surprisingly,’ said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.