OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden has eased off a pre-midterm election pledge now that the votes are nearly all in and it looks as though one chamber of Congress will be led by Republicans come January. In remarks to reporters this week, Biden backed away from a pledge to codify abortion within federal law.
“Mr. President, what should Americans expect from Congress as it relates to abortion rights after the midterms?” NBC’s Peter Alexander hollered at Biden during a question-and-answer period following his remarks with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a pre-G20 summit in Indonesia.
As he often does, Biden said he was told to just take four questions, but the one from Alexander appeared to be an unplanned fifth inquiry.
“I don’t think they can expect much of anything other than we’re going to maintain our positions. I’m not going to get into more questions. I shouldn’t even have answered your question,” Biden said.
“I don’t think there’s enough votes to codify, unless something happens unusual in the House. I think we’re going to get very close in the House. I think we’re going to be very close, but I don’t think we’re going to make it,” he noted further.
Joe Biden: "I don't think there's enough votes to codify [Roe] unless something happens unusual in the House." pic.twitter.com/ItyIpoQG50
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 14, 2022
Alexander’s network forecast on Monday that Republicans would wind up with a 219-216 seat majority in the House, which, if party members remain united, should effectively stall Biden’s agenda for at least the next two years.
Previously, Biden pledged to work with a Democratic congressional majority to enshrine abortion in federal law after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in June to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the procedure in all 50 states. The June ruling did not ban abortions; rather, the decision returned the issue to states for their voters and legislatures to decide.
Still, while Democrats are going to hold onto their Senate majority and possibly gain a seat if Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock holds on to defeat Trump-backed GOP challenger Herschel Walker in next month’s run-off, they would likely need 60 votes to bypass an expected Republican-led filibuster.
To that point, Walker gave Warnock a devastating response when the two met for their only debate ahead of the Nov. 8 midterms.
Walker, a former Georgia Bulldogs football player, showed up and delivered a solid performance. In particular, Walker held Warnock’s feet to the fire during an exchange about abortion. Warnock, who is a pastor, advocates for no limits on abortion. Walker is pro-life.
Walker said, “[Warnock] told me black lives matter, and if you think about it, senator, in Atlanta, Georgia, there’s more black babies that is aborted than anything. So if black lives matter, why are you not protecting those babies? And instead of aborting those babies, why are you not baptizing those babies?”
Warnock replied, “I think the women of Georgia have a clear choice.”
“A patient’s room is too narrow and small and cramped a space for a woman, her doctor, and the United States government. We are witnessing right now what happens when politicians, most of them men, pile into patient’s rooms,” Warnock said. “The women of Georgia [deserve] a senator who will stand with them. I trust women more than I trust politicians.”
Then Walker landed one right between the eyes. He said, “He’s a neat talker, but did he not mention that there’s a baby in that room as well?”
Walker also tried to tie Warnock to President Joe Biden’s failed agenda, noting that he had voted with Biden 96 percent of the time.
Herschel Walker (R): “If Black Lives Matter, why are you not protecting those babies, and instead of aborting those babies, why are you not baptizing those babies?”
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D): “I think the women of Georgia have a clear choice.” pic.twitter.com/Ry6CaAilRB
— The Recount (@therecount) October 14, 2022
Walker took a lead over Warnock the week before the election, but Warnock actually came out on top regarding votes. However, neither candidate managed to secure the required 50 percent of the vote to win outright, leading to a Dec. 6 runoff election.
“The key demographic for Walker is independent voters, which he leads Warnock by a 14-point margin, 49% to 35%. And this despite Warnock’s three dollars to every dollar the former Heisman Trophy winner’s campaign has raised,” the Center Square reported, citing a Rasmussen Reports survey.