President Joe Biden disclosed Monday that abortion rights will likely not be codified into federal law. Then he admitted immediate regret for addressing the issue.
After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president held a press conference in which he took questions from a pre-determined list of reporters. "I’m told there are going to be four questioners," Biden said.
One reporter, NBC News' Peter Alexander, was not apparently on that list — but that didn't stop him from shouting a question.
"Mr. President, what should Americans expect from Congress as it relates to abortion rights after the midterms?" Alexander asked.
Biden's answer was revealing. For all of his rhetoric about the importance of codifying abortion rights into federal law after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Biden said Americans can expect basically nothing.
"I don’t think they can expect much of anything other than we’re going to maintain our positions," Biden said.
The president immediately expressed regret for answering the question.
"I’m not going to get into more questions. I shouldn’t even have answered your question," Biden said
Despite the admission, Biden elaborated on why he believes nothing will change for abortion rights supporters.
"I don’t think there’s enough votes to codify, unless something happens unusual in the House," Biden said. "I think we’re going to get very close in the House. I think it’s going to be very close, but I don’t think we’re going to make it."
President Biden Delivers Remarks and Takes Questionsyoutu.be
Last month, Biden promised that should Democrats retain control of Congress after the 2022 midterm elections, codifying abortion rights would be his No. 1 priority.
"Here is the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill that I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade," Biden said.
But with Republicans likely taking control of the House, any pro-abortion legislation will be dead on arrival. Meanwhile, with Republicans able to filibuster in the Senate, Biden's agenda would encounter an impasse in that chamber, too.