“The foremost thing we should do is make it clear how outrageous this decision was,” Biden said. “I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure that Congress votes to do that.”
“And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, we should require an exception to the filibuster for this action,” he continued.
The Twitter reactions to Biden’s comments were largely representative of recent polling on Americans’ thoughts on the measure. A January Rasmussen telephone and online survey found that 48% of likely voters opposed ending the filibuster, while 40% said they would support a change to the established rules.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said he “wholeheartedly” agrees with Biden’s endorsement to change the Senate rules.
NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance provided less analysis and more opinion in her reaction to Biden’s comments.
“President Biden says he favors doing away with the filibuster to codify privacy rights. Not just Roe’s protections for abortion, but the full range of privacy rights including contraception & same sex marriage. Now he needs majorities in Congress to get it done. Let’s go!” she tweeted.
“Yes. Keep up the pressure. This moving the needle,” Rewire senior editor of law & policy Imani Tw-Kitchens Gandy chimed in.
Far-left writer for The Nation Elie Mystal gloated, “Oh look, Biden said he wasn’t open to changing the filibuster to pass a federal abortion law, people loudly complained, and now he’s changed his mind. FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS! It’s almost like telling elected officials what we want them to DO makes them more likely to DO IT.”
“Yes, @POTUS! This is leadership. Supporting a carve out to the filibuster to codify abortion rights is exactly what we must do to stop these abortion bans,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., added.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., took it a step further, tweeting that a filibuster carve out is “not enough” and pushed for the “whole thing” to be reformed or done away with.
U.S. Senate candidate Tom Nelson, who will face off against Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said that if Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., refuses to abolish the filibuster, Democrats will expand their majority and do so without him.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., also pondered where Manchin would stand on the measure and said that the Senate should put an end to the filibuster, “at a minimum.”
On the right, Biden’s remarks were met with derision.
“It’s only to pass voting rights, the most important thing in the world, they said. Oh and abortion, also the most important thing in the world. When everything is a crisis, it’s very hard to believe Dems would be selective on when to override filibuster,” The Washington Free Beacon executive editor Brent Scher tweeted.
U.S. congressional candidate Antonio Pitocco claimed that if the roles were reversed, and Republicans wanted to overturn the filibuster, Democrats would claim it was fascism and tyranny.
Journalist and podcast host Megyn Kelly said this of Biden’s comments: “1st, Congress d/n/have the power to do this. 2d, Manchin won’t agree to this pie-in-the-sky talk. 3d, even if 1&2 were incorrect, Ds will rue the day they said abortion policy in all 50 states can be dictated by feds. What happens when GOP regains control?”
Biden had previously called on Congress to codify abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday, but he had not called for ending the filibuster as a response. The president previously called for the measure in an effort to pass voting rights, which his administration failed to do.
Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., have opposed an end to the filibuster throughout Biden’s tenure in the White House.
Overriding a filibuster requires a 60-vote majority to end debate on a bill and force a vote. The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats heading into the midterm elections.
Prior to winning the presidency, Biden told reporters in 2019 that ending the filibuster was a “very dangerous thing to do.”
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.