Manchin says he will wait until TOMORROW to reveal if he will back Senate abortion bill

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he’ll ‘wait and see’ what Democrats say in their weekly lunches Tuesday before deciding how he’ll vote on the Senate abortion bill. 

Manchin – a moderate Democrat and key swing vote – made the comments Monday to NBC News, as a floor vote on the legislation is expected Wednesday.

With Manchin on the fence, it’s unclear if the Democrats will even get all 50 senators in their own caucus to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act – far short of the 60 needed from members of both parties to override a Republican filibuster threat.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he’ll ‘wait and see’ what Democrats say in their weekly lunches Tuesday before deciding how he’ll vote on the Senate abortion bill 

Earlier Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to square off on abortion. 

‘I’ve clearly stated I will never support smashing the legislative filibuster on this issue or any other,’ McConnell said. ‘Yet Democrats want to wreck our institutions over their fringe position that Americans do not share.’ 

Some Democratic activists have advocated that Senate Democrats do away with the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court potentially overturns it in June. 

Manchin, along with Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, don’t support that effort. 

Schumer filed cloture Monday on the Women’s Health Protection Act, which ‘prohibits governmental restrictions on the provision of, and access to, abortion services,’ the text of the bill says. 

Manchin voted down a similar bill earlier this year.  

A Senate vote is expected Wednesday – and with the filibuster intact the legislation will fail.  

‘I want to be clear: this week’s vote is not an abstract exercise, this is as real and as high stakes as it gets, and Senate Republicans will no longer be able to hide from the horror they’ve unleashed upon women in America,’ Schumer said. 

Schumer said senators would be confronted this week with ‘a simple but urgent question.’ 

‘Do women in this country have a basic right to make their own choices when it comes to seeking an abortion, yes or no?’ the New York Democrat asked.  

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (right) took to the Senate floor Monday to square off on abortion

‘It will be one of the most important questions this chamber confronts in decades, because for the first time in fifty years, women in America face the real possibility of living in a world where the protections of Roe v. Wade are a thing of the past,’ he continued. ‘It will set up a situation where our children, women children, female children have less rights than their grandparents, something that is so un-American, taking away rights, stepping backward on rights in such a dramatic way.’ 

Schumer blasted Republicans for ‘packing our courts with right-wing judges and justices’ and ‘changing the rules of the Senate to push three rigidly conservative justices’ onto the Supreme Court. 

It was the Democrats who initially weakened the filibuster, allowing most presidential nominees to get through Senate confirmation without 60 votes. But McConnell was responsible for changing the rules for Supreme Court justices. 

‘After stealing the nomination of Merrick Garland, the time has come for Republicans – this new MAGA Republican Party – to answer for their actions,’ Schumer went on. 

Former President Barack Obama nominated Garland, now the attorney general, in March 2016 to serve on the Supreme Court, but McConnell wouldn’t let his nomination go through the Senate because it was a presidential election year. 

Former President Donald Trump then got to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat with conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch. 

Schumer pointed to comments made to USA Today in an interview published over the weekend where the Kentucky Republican acknowledged it was ‘possible’ a national abortion ban could get passed if the GOP reclaims a Congressional majority. 

However, if the filibuster remained intact, a ban of that nature would not likely pass. 

‘I ask my colleagues to think carefully about their choice later this week,’ Schumer said after outlining some of the restrictions that could go into place if Roe v. Wade is overturned. ‘No more running, no more hiding, the vote will shine light on every single one of us. It’ll be like a floodlight and we’ll each have to make our position clear.’

McConnell characterized the Democrats’ bill as ‘extreme,’ ‘radical’ and ‘widely unpopular.’ 

‘Leader Schumer wants the Senate to vote again on a Democrat bill that would effectively legalize abortion on demand through all nine months,’ the Kentucky Republican said, adding that it would ‘allow elective abortion until birth.’ 

McConnell also hammered Democrats for not keeping liberal activists – some of whom are protesting outside conservative justices’ homes – in check. 

‘One liberal Georgetown Law professor helpfully summarized their mission here. He explained this past weekend that the key moral difference between this pressure campaign and the January 6th riot is that, in this case, “the mob is right,”‘ McConnell said. 

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