Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), an institutionalist in the Senate, said Thursday that she would vote to reform the filibuster if it’s necessary to pass abortion protections.
“Let me be clear: If it comes down to protecting the filibuster or protecting a woman’s right to choose, there should be no question that I will vote to protect a woman’s right to choose,” she said in a statement.
Her spokesperson previously declined to tell the San Francisco Chronicle whether she’d support a filibuster carveout for abortion rights, instead pointing to her previous vote to reform the filibuster and pass a voting rights bill. Sens. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined with all of the Senate Republicans to vote down the filibuster change then.
Manchin and Sinema continue to support maintaining the filibuster, making abortion protections impossible to pass in the current Senate.
President Joe Biden, another long-time creature of the Senate who came out in favor of a filibuster exception to pass abortion rights late last month, has been candid that the Democratic caucus currently lacks the votes to heed his call.
“Congress must act to codify Roe and the filibuster should not stand in the way,” he said in a Wednesday statement. “But right now, we don’t have the votes to change the filibuster. That means we need to elect more Democratic senators and reelect our House majority in November to get this bill to my desk.”