President Joe Biden disclosed on Monday that abortion rights will probably not be codified into federal law. But almost immediately he said that he regretted even answering the question about abortion.
Biden talked about this after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He held a press conference and took questions from a pre-determined list of reporters. He said that he had been told there were going to be four questions.
But one reporter, NBC News’s Peter Alexander, was not on that list of four and he shouted a question to the president.
“Mr. President, what should Americans expect from Congress as it relates to abortion rights after the midterms?” Alexander asked.
Biden’s answer was significant, although regretted. The president has spoken a lot about the importance of codifying abortion rights into federal law since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Biden’s answer indicated that Americans should expect nothing.
“I don’t think they can expect much of anything other than we’re going to maintain our positions,” Biden said.
After he said this, he expressed regret for answering the question.
“I’m not going to get into more questions. I shouldn’t even have answered your question,” Biden said
But then Biden went on to elaborate on the answer he should not have given on abortion rights
“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. I think it’s going to be very close, but I don’t think we’re going to make it.”
Last month, Biden made a promise that if Democrats retained control of Congress after the 2022 midterms, he would make it his no. 1 priority to codify abortion rights.
“Here is the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill that I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade,” Biden said.
But with the GOP likely taking control back in the House, any pro-abortion legislation will not make it past the House. And with Republicans able to filibuster in the Senate, Biden’s agenda is dead in the water there as well.