Biden plots his first piece of post-midterms legislation: codifying Roe
President Biden on Tuesday said that he would make an abortion rights bill the first piece of legislation he will send to Congress next year if Democrats elect more senators and his party keeps control of the House.
Why it matters: With exactly three weeks until Election Day and the renewed pressure of high inflation, Biden is doubling down on making abortion the centerpiece of the midterm elections.
State of play: Biden delivered remarks at a Democratic National Committee event at the Howard Theatre in Washington, where he drew a contrast between Republicans "who want a national ban" and Democrats "who want to codify Roe into law," according to a Democratic official.
- If Democrats keep the House and win more seats in the Senate, the first bill he will send to the next Congress will be to codify Roe — to be signed into law around the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling on Jan. 22, 2023.
But, but, but: Keeping both chambers will be a tall order for Democrats given the renewed pressure of high inflation and the political headwinds the party in power typically faces in a midterm year.
What they're saying: Biden encouraged the public to vote for Democrats in the upcoming November elections and said that if Democrats keep control of the House and the Senate,"the first bill that I will send to Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade."
- Biden said that if the bill passes, he will "sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was decided as the law of the land. Together we will restore the right to choose for every woman in America."
- Biden also pledged to veto any bill passed by Republicans that restricts abortion nationwide.
The big picture: The Biden administration unveiled new steps to enhance abortion protections earlier after announcing executive actions over the summer.
- Biden has also pledged to veto any bill that would ban abortions on the federal level if Republicans take control of Congress.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced legislation that would impose a federal ban on most abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Go deeper: Axios explains abortion
Editor's note: This story has been updated with Biden's remarks at a Democratic National Committee event.