Senate Dems to test whether abortion can break through talk of Biden concerns

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The Senate will take up a bill on Wednesday that seeks to codify abortion protections from Roe v. Wade into the Constitution, thereby nullifying the decision that overturned it, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., last month announced his intention to take up the Reproductive Freedom for Women Act, after already holding votes on proceeding with legislation to create rights to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and contraception, which were criticized by Republicans for being too broad. 

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The measure was led by Senate President pro tempore Patty Murray, D-Wash. “Our bill is simple: it’s a plain up or down vote on whether you support women being able to make their own reproductive health care decisions,” she said during a press conference on Tuesday. “It doesn’t force anything, it doesn’t cost anything, it’s a half-page bill saying women should have the basic freedom to make their own decisions about their health care. Seriously – that is all it is.” 

While some moderate Republican senators can be expected to join Democrats in voting to advance the bill, the measure won’t likely clear the 60-vote threshold necessary. 

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Despite being planned last month, the vote this week comes as news is dominated by discussion of President Biden and his viability as a candidate. The Democratic Senate caucus held a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, during which they discussed the concerns that some members had about Biden after his poor debate performance last month. 

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., admitted Tuesday night on CNN that he told his colleagues during the meeting that he didn’t think Biden could beat Trump in November. 

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He became the first Democratic senator to publicly air that concern. Other senators have come close, saying in public statements that Biden needs to prove himself. 

A source familiar confirmed to Fox News Digital that Democrats in the chamber will be having a special meeting with top Biden campaign advisers on Thursday at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) as concerns continue to fester. Senior advisers Mike Donilon and Steve Ricchetti, and campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon will join the lawmakers. 

The series of reproductive votes that Schumer has been bringing throughout the summer have been in an effort to highlight Republicans’ stance ahead of the pivotal November elections. 

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“Today’s vote will not be the end of the struggle to secure reproductive freedoms, but it’s an important step forward. Americans want to see where their senators stand by voting on these bills on women’s health,” the majority leader said on the chamber floor on Wednesday. 

“We are moving the issue forward because it’s very important and very reasonable for members to be called on to take a position on a vital issue. Of course, many Republicans would rather sweep reproductive health under the rug, saying it’s political, but this is not political. This is the essence of what elected government is like. We all know these issues are deeply personal to so many people and Americans ought to be able to see how their senators vote,” he continued.