Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand advocated Sunday for eliminating the filibuster ahead of a Senate vote on legislation to codify the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in reaction to the leaked Supreme Court draft showing the ruling in jeopardy.
“I think we should get rid of the filibuster,” the New York Democrat said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think we should vote for our values. I believe we should fight for everything we believe in at this moment. This is about basic equality.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer plans to bring the bill for a vote on the Senate floor Wednesday even though he lacks the 60 votes needed to break a Republican-led filibuster.
Ms. Gillibrand had spoken out in favor of keeping the filibuster as recently as 2019, but she and other Democrats have revised their stances since the 2020 election left them with a bare 50-50 majority with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala D. Harris.
CNN host Jake Tapper pointed out that if Senate Democrats nuke the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade, it would clear the way for Republicans to ban abortion nationwide with a simple majority if and when they take control of the Senate.
Ms. Gillibrand countered that “bad things” are occurring even with the filibuster under Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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“Look, Jake, the argument that if we take away the filibuster, Mitch McConnell and Republicans across the country are going to do bad things, those bad things are literally already happening,” said Ms. Gillibrand.
Whether the Senate has the vows even without the filibuster is also unclear. Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, is not expected to support legislation codifying Roe, while Sen. Susan Collins, a pro-choice Maine Republican, has raised concerns about the bill.
The document leaked Monday showed the high court has the majority needed to overturn Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion.