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Tipsheet

Nancy Pelosi Confirms Hyde Amendment Missing from House Reconciliation Bill Planned to Receive Thursday Vote

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

During a Thursday press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rudely confirmed to a reporter that the Hyde Amendment "is not in the bill." As Mike Lillis reported for The Hill later in the day, the bill is set to receive a vote later this evening. 

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The Hyde Amendment has passed every year since its inception in 1976 as a budget rider to annual spending bills, and with bipartisan support. This year, however, Democrats are intentionally leaving it out, which would result in Americans being forced to pay for elective abortions with their tax dollars. Currently, under the Hyde Amendment, federal tax dollars can only be used to pay for abortions if the pregnancy was the result of rape, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger.

Republicans are completely united in voting against the spending bill, especially because it does not include Hyde. In the Senate, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a moderate, pro-life Democrat who has had considerable clout when it comes to the bill, has indicated he will not support the legislation if Hyde is left out. With a 50-50 Senate, Democrats cannot afford to lose any of member support for the bill. 

During a roundtable discussion last month which Townhall attended, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), as well as other House members and those there on behalf of outside pro-life groups, warned there will be long-term consequences if this bill passes without Hyde. Many of them urged Sen. Manchin to stay strong. 

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), who is also a medical doctor, emphasized this previous plea he made to Manchin. "Not only does this legislation spend trillions of dollars we don’t have, but it also fails to restrict usage of these dollars to support abortion. This is a poison pill, and I hope Senator Manchin holds firm in not voting for this socialist spending package, especially if it lacks Hyde Amendment protections," he said in a statement provided to Townhall on Thursday.

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While speaking on the House floor on Monday, McCarthy referenced Hyde as he called out Democratic support for the reconciliation bill.

"They know it can’t be justified to spend trillions of dollars to abandon the Hyde Amendment, allowing for taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand," McCarthy said about Democrats.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) has also taken a strong stance on protecting Hyde.

"For over 40 years, Joe Biden agreed taxpayer funded abortions were immoral and wrong. Sadly, the Democrat party has become so radical not a single one will stand up for the unborn or religious liberties," Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who chairs the RSC, told Townhall in a statement.

Speaker Pelosi has been asked about the Hyde Amendment repeatedly as of late, including in the context of her Catholic faith. 

"As a devout Catholic and mother of five and six years, I feel that God blessed my husband and me with our beautiful family, five children, six years almost to the day, but it’s not up to me to dictate that that’s what other people should do. And it’s an issue of fairness and justice for poor women and in our country," her response in part referenced at a July press conference when asked by a reporter "why to have [Hyde] overturned."

The Catholic Church is unequivocally clear in its stance against abortion. As Madeline and I have covered, Archibshop Salvatore Cordileone of Pelosi's hometown diocese in San Francisco, has spoken out against pro-abortion Catholics receiving Communion.

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On Wednesday, as Madeline reported, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted to approve a document to do with Communion, though it did not address whether to bar pro-abortion Catholics from the sacrament. 

The contrast is particularly rich when it comes to remarks Speaker Pelosi made on Wednesday when it comes to her framing climate change as a religious issue.

"It is a moral issue, if you believe, as I do, that this is God's creation and we have a moral obligation to be good stewards. But even if you don't share that view religiously, we all share it morally that we have a responsibility to future generations," Pelosi said.

While Pope Francis has a particular interest in climate change, he has also spoken out against abortion, which is a greater issue of importance for the Church.

In a "Dear Colleague" letter from Thursday, Pelosi indicated floor debate on the reconciliation spending bill took place this morning and that they can proceed with votes once they receive a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

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While the letter is titled "Dear Colleague on Updates on Passage of Build Back Better," a significant portion of it addresses Wednesday's censure of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), which the speaker called "a day of pride as Democratic Members brought credit to the House with the unity and dignity with which our Caucus conducted itself."

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