More Democrats Move To End Filibuster

Senate Democrats, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Are they really going for it?

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA.) is adamant she’s willing to support the removal of the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade.

In comments Feinstein made on Thursday (July 7), the California Democrat said she “certainly would vote” in support of a filibuster carve out, enabling the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would make abortion federally protected.

In her statement, which appears to be a subtle criticism of her Democratic colleagues who refuse to support the filibuster, Feinstein says offers clarity on her position: “If it comes down to protecting the filibuster or protecting a woman’s right to choose, there should be no question that I will vote to protect a woman’s right to choose.”

The filibuster, which allows voting on legislation to be delayed until 60 Senators vote to end the deadlock, has been impossible for Democrats, who hold a slim majority in the Senate, to achieve.

Discussions about a filibuster carve out have reemerged following last month’s Supreme Court ruling returning abortion mandates to the states. With nearly a dozen states planning or implementing abortion bans, President Joe Biden called on Senators to change the filibuster.

Earlier in the year, with Democrats lacking the voting power to pass voting rights in the Senate, there was an attempt to carve out the filibuster.

But these efforts were fruitless after Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Az.) refused to support the carve out despite their votes being crucial to the process.

When the Supreme Court’s draft opinion was leaked in May, and Democrats began considering a filibuster carve out again, both Manchin and Sinema issued statements affirming their positions on the filibuster, with Manchin saying, “The filibuster is the only protection we have in democracy.”