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Progressive Chair Won't Vote for Reconciliation Bill with Hyde, But She Seems Confused on What It Even Entails

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

A discussion over whether or not to include the Hyde Amendment in reconciliation is back at the forefront. The budget rider, which has passed every year with bipartisan support since 1976, protects taxpayer funds from having to pay forelective abortions. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) told Dana Bash during CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that she won't vote for a bill that includes Hyde.


Jayapal, who is the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said "no" when Bash asked "can you vote for a bill that does -- that has the Hyde Amendment in it?" She wasn't clear with her responses otherwise, though. She didn't exactly given an answer when asked "what happens? How do you compromise on that?"

Jayapal responded with "I mean, let's just -- we're -- this is a negotiation," before emphasizing her support for abortion.

Bash acknowledged that abortion was "personal" for Jayapal. On Thursday while at a House Oversight Committee hearing, the congresswoman shared her testimony about having an abortion.

During Sunday's segment, the congresswoman not only misled about Hyde, but demonstrated she fails to understand what it entails, even though she won't vote for a reconciliation bill unless it's gone. Bash, to her credit, tried to steer the conversation to a place where Hyde was discussed accurately but was pressed for time:

JAYAPAL: I mean, let's just -- we're -- this is a negotiation. And we have got to continue to move this forward.

But the Hyde Amendment is something that the majority of the country does not support. One in four women have had an abortion and need to have reproductive care in a very, very important time, when those protections are being rolled back.

That is nobody's business. It is our business, as people that carry the babies. And we have to be able to make those choices during our pregnancy.

BASH: So, just to be clear, you want to have legislation -- in this legislation, you want to allow federal dollars to be spent for abortion?

JAYAPAL: No, none of the -- none of the dollars here are going for that. I mean, we already have...

BASH: Because that's what the Hyde Amendment bans. So how would -- so...

JAYAPAL: Well, I think that the reality is, I think what he is asking for, from my understanding, is something even more than that. And so let's just -- let's just continue to see where we are. But I think the important thing here is, this is the beginning of a negotiation.


Unfortunately, Bash did not press Jayapal about her claim that a majority do not support Hyde. There are countless polls that show a majority of Americans support Hyde, which even pro-abortion outlet Slate has admitted. Polls that show support for getting rid of Hyde are not accurate about what that means. 

Further, comments about it being "nobody's business," "choice," and the statistics on how many women have had an abortion is irrelevant to the issue of using taxpayer dollars to fund them.

This position is at odds with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a key moderate vote, who has consistently stuck by his support for Hyde. In June, he reaffirmed to a reporter that he will stick by it. In July, he and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter to leadership on the Senate Appropriations Committee indicating support for Hyde.

More recently, as Leah covered, Manchin told National Review that the reconciliation bill is "dead on arrival" in the Senate without the Hyde amendment, and that "it has to be" included. 

Bash was able to go a bit deeper with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the majority whip, in a later segment. While he did not commit to an answer, he did not push back on Bash "tak[ing] it as a yes" that Durbin could vote for a bill with Hyde:


DURBIN: Dana, I can't tell you how many times in my senatorial career we have seen major pieces of legislation founder on this issue.

So I don't want to say anything now to jeopardize the negotiation. But I hope that will keep in perspective that what we're trying to do is going to have a positive impact on families and children. And we should move toward that goal together. We have got to find ways to deal with this issue honestly.

But I hope it is not the decisive issue when it comes to the future of this package.

BASH: So, you're not just collecting votes. You are a vote.

Would you, Senator Dick Durbin, vote for legislation with the Hyde Amendment in it?

DURBIN: Well, I will tell you, I have voted for both in the past, because I have to measure it against the value of the package itself.

Build Back Better is the future for many working families. It gives them a chance to finally break away from the inequality in our economy and to have some optimism about the future. So I don't want to let the entire package break down over that issue.

BASH: OK. I take that as a yes.

When it comes to the issue of abortion--already an emotionally charged issue--specifically the issue of who funds abortion--it remains to be seen if Sen. Durbin is being overly optimistic when he says he hopes it won't be "the decisive issue."

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