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President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attend Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, on Jan. 20. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly voted, 168-55, to draft a document that they hope will prevent President Biden and other Catholic politicians from receiving Communion if they advocate for abortion rights, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Biden is the United States' second Catholic president and the country's most religiously observant leader since Jimmy Carter, per the New York Times. Enforcing the rule to deny Communion would be up to individual bishops.

  • Last month, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, the head of the Vatican's doctrine office, sent a letter to the conference imploring them to carefully deliberate before making the decision.
  • The cardinal advised that the bishops should seek unanimous approval, adding that it could become "a source of discord rather than unity within the episcopate and the larger church in the United States."

What they're saying: “That’s a private matter, and I don’t think that’s going to happen," Biden told reporters on Friday, when asked about the vote.

Go deeper

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.

22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Dems seek new green deal

Rep. Stephanie Murphy. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats discussed with President Biden on Wednesday a plan to exempt billions of dollars of new climate spending from his requirement that his $3.5 trillion "soft" infrastructure plan be offset with additional revenue.

Why it matters: The accounting proposal — a version of "dynamic scoring" — would dramatically lower the amount of taxes Democrats would need to raise while creating wiggle room to increase the ultimate size of the package.

2 hours ago - Health

FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people at high risk of severe COVID-19 and people 65 years and older.

Driving the news: The approval comes just days after an FDA advisory panel recommended boosters for the two groups but overwhelmingly voted against the third shots for younger Americans.