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Tipsheet

It's Official: The Hyde Amendment Is Here to Stay

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The release of the omnibus package for 2022 on Wednesday revealed that Democrats overplayed their hand on at least one issue, as the Hyde Amendment is here to stay. The budget rider which protects taxpayers from having to fund elective abortions has been included every year since 1976, with bipartisan support. Pro-abortion Democrats, however, including those who have previously supported Hyde, went through great lengths to get it removed. Yet in order to keep the government funded, it appears they've backed down, as I hinted in coverage last month. Now, it looks to be official. 

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As Aris Folley wrote for The Hill: 

Democrats failed in their effort to strip a decades-old amendment from annual government funding legislation that blocks people from using Medicaid or other federal health programs to cover abortion services amid fierce opposition from Republicans.

Senate Democrats previously omitted the provision, also known as the Hyde amendment, from legislation to fund the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education departments last year. It marked the first time in decades that Senate Democrats removed the amendment from their annual government appropriations bills.

While Folley phrased the "fierce opposition" as coming "from Republicans," any spending proposals that purposefully left out Hyde were almost certainly doomed to fail thanks to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). Manchin, a pro-life, moderate Democrat, said last September that a proposal would be "dead on arrival" if it didn't include Hyde, and said "it has to be" included. This was consistent with previous statements of his from last June

Manchin goes unmentioned in Folley's piece, however. 

Last week, Manchin was instrumental in defeating the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) in the Senate, which would not only codify Roe v. Wade into federal law but do away with virtually all pro-life laws passed at the state level. 

In addition to pro-life Democrats like Sen. Manchin, preserving Hyde was protected by unity from Republicans in Congress, including GOP leadership

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President Joe Biden renounced his decades-old support for the Hyde Amendment in June 2019 during the Democratic presidential primary, a day after his campaign claimed he still supported it. He was the last holdout when it came to supporting the budget rider that's come to be known as a status quo. As I've covered before at length, as a senator for Delaware, Biden bragged in letters to constituents that he was an ardent supporter of Hyde. Further, he previously supported stricter versions of Hyde than what is in place today. Presently, Hyde includes exceptions for women seeking abortions due to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or which present a risk to the mother's life. 

Not only did Biden renounce his support for Hyde on the campaign trail in 2019, but he also purposefully left it out of his budget proposal that he released last May, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. 

The current omnibus sent groups like All* Above All, founded for the purpose of getting rid of Hyde, into panic mode. 

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Polling shows that the Hyde Amendment is a popular proposal among the American people overall, something even the leftist outlet Slate acknowledged

Annual polling from Knights of Columbus/Marist on the issue, most recently released in January around the March for Life, found that a majority, 54 percent, oppose or strongly oppose "using tax dollars to pay for a woman's abortion." 

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