WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, moved on Thursday to set up a vote next week on a bill to codify abortion rights into federal law.
Schumer acted quickly in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade, despite clear evidence that the measure lacks the support to be enacted.
The plan is little more than an effort to send a political message before the midterm elections and a seismic ruling that could have major legal, cultural and electoral consequences, with deep significance for voters across the political spectrum.
The legislation is all but certain to be blocked by Republicans, falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance past a filibuster.
It also appears to lack even the simple majority it would need to pass the 50-50 Senate, given that Senator Joe Manchin III, the centrist Democrat from West Virginia who opposes abortion rights, voted against bringing up a nearly identical measure in February and has shown no signs that he has shifted his position.
Even if Mr. Manchin did change his mind on the bill, he has adamantly opposed altering Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster, leaving Democrats short of the 50 votes they would need to do so and get their measure past a Republican blockade.
Still, Mr. Schumer said the vote on Wednesday would be one of “the most important we ever take,” framing it as an opportunity to emphasize to voters — who polls show widely favor at least some legal abortion — that elections matter, and that Democrats are the ones fighting to preserve reproductive rights.
“Senate Republicans spent years packing our courts with right-wing judges,” Mr. Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor. “Will they now own up to the harm they’ve caused, or will they try to undo the damage? The vote next week will tell” … READ MORE.