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Biden says Democrats will not be able to pass abortion-rights legislation

“I don’t think there’s enough votes to codify unless something happens unusual in the House,” the president said.
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President Joe Biden said Monday that he did not expect Democrats to have enough votes in Congress to be able to pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade

Asked at a news conference in Bali, Indonesia, what Americans could expect Congress to do about abortion access, Biden said: “I don’t think they can expect much of anything other than we’re going to maintain our positions.”

President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 14, 2022.
President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday.Alex Brandon / AP

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

“I think we’re going to get very close in the House,” he added. “But I don’t think we’re going to make it.”

Control of the House remains unresolved as vote-counting in the midterm elections continues; Republicans remain the favorite to control of the chamber by a narrow majority.

Democrats have kept control of the Senate, but passing a bill through it would likely require 60 votes, which would necessitate about 10 Republicans’ supporting it.

Exit polls showed that abortion was a major motivating issue for voters this election cycle.

Although Democrats performed surprisingly well in the midterm elections, Biden’s remarks Monday underscore the limitations of his policy agenda as he adjusts to what will likely be a divided Congress.

Biden said at the news conference that the midterm elections demonstrated “the strength and resilience in American democracy” through voters’ “strong rejection of election deniers at every level.”

“What these elections showed is that there’s a deep, unwavering commitment in America to preserving and protecting and defending democracy,” Biden said.

Biden is traveling overseas for a series of international conferences. He attended the United Nations summit on climate change in Egypt last week and is in Bali for the annual meeting of the Group of 20 leading rich and developing nations.

Biden said that throughout his trip it has “been clear just how closely the world, our allies and our competitors, as well, have been following our elections at home.”