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Dianne Full On Team Cagey!

July 7, 2022 11:13 a.m.
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It looks like there may be only one senator standing between voters and passing a Roe law in January 2023. And it’s of all people the senator from California: Dianne Feinstein! We mentioned this yesterday after a staffer in Feinstein’s office told TPM Reader RM that the senator could only commit “to discuss filibuster reform” to allow an up or down vote on the Roe bill in January 2023. Now Joe Garofoli of The San Francisco Chronicle got a more definitive not-at-all-definitive statement from Feinstein’s spokesperson Adam Russell.

“Senator Feinstein voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act in May that would have codified Roe and she voted to exempt voting rights from the Senate filibuster rules in January. It’s unclear whether the Senate will take up filibuster reform in response to the court’s decision but she will continue to work with her colleagues to pass legislation that protects abortion rights.”

So to be clear, Feinstein supports the Roe law. And she voted for a carveout of the filibuster rules for voting rights, another extremely important piece of legislation. But she won’t say whether she would do the same for the Roe law because apparently she’s not sure anyone will want to. But of course, any effort to make the carveout depends on Democrats picking up two seats in November to have 50 votes to make the carveout. And there’s really no chance that happens unless all 48 (non-Sinema/Manchin) senators give voters total clarity about what will happen in January 2023 if they manage to elect two more Democratic senators. “Give us two more Senate seats and we’ll see what happens” probably won’t get the job done.

Feinstein isn’t the only senator in the mix here. Our team is reaching out to other possible holdouts today including Sens. Casey of Pennsylvania and King of Maine. But so far Feinstein is the only senator so reflexively unwilling to say where she stands on this issue.

Have you spoken to your senator? Tell us what they told you.

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