‘I Don’t Think There’s Enough Votes’: Biden Pulls Back Promise To Codify Roe V. Wade

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden pulled back his promise to codify Roe v. Wade as his first piece of legislation after the midterms on Monday, saying he doesn’t “think there’s enough votes” amid the possibility of a Republican House.

“Mr. President what should Americans expect from Congress as it relates to abortion rights after the midterms?” NBC’s Peter Alexander yelled at Biden during a question and answer period after his remarks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Indonesia. Biden said he was told to call on four reporters, and this question appeared to be an unplanned fifth, yelled from the sidelines.

“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 added.

NBC News projected that Republicans will have the majority of the House shortly after Biden’s remarks, predicting that the GOP will have 219 seats, with Democrats at 216. (RELATED: Biden Promises To Codify Roe V. Wade If Democrats Win Midterms)

Biden has previously stressed that codifying the federal right to abortion would be his priority if Democrats secured the House and the Senate.

“The first bill I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade. And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided the law of the land,” Biden said in October.

The Supreme Court overturned Roe in June, leaving the right to abortion up to the states. Biden has said that Democrats need 53 votes in the Senate, but passing the codification of Roe through the Senate would be unlikely, as 60 votes are required to bypass the filibuster.