Democrats push HHS budget that directly funds abortions
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – House Democrats on Monday submitted to the House Appropriations Committee a proposed budget for the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that omits formerly-bipartisan language that for years has spared federal taxpayers from directly funding most abortions.
“Allowing the Hyde Amendment to remain on the books is a disservice to our constituents,” said House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) of the 40-year-old amendment, ABC News reports. “We are finally doing what is right for our mothers, our families and our communities by striking this discriminatory amendment once and for all.”
Traditionally included every year in federal budgets with little objection, the Hyde Amendment is estimated to have saved more than 2 million lives since its adoption decades ago by forbidding most taxpayer dollars from funding abortions except for cases of rape, incest, or threat to a mother’s life.
The move is consistent with President Joe Biden’s own recent proposal of a 2022 fiscal year budget omitting Hyde. Biden had supported the amendment for most of his political career, but abruptly disavowed that support in response to pressure he received during the 2020 primary for the Democrat presidential nomination.
A pro-abortion budget is expected to make it through the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives with little difficulty, but its fate in the U.S. Senate is more uncertain. Democrats’ hold on the chamber is razor-thin, with a 50-50 margin in which Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tie-breaking votes.
Even for spending measures that can be passed with simple majorities, however, Senate Democrats require 100% agreement from their own members to succeed – and it remains to be seen whether an anti-Hyde budget can achieve it.
Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said in June he is “going to support Hyde in every way possible,” though it is not yet known whether Manchin would vote against a final budget without Hyde or whether he would justify a “yes” vote in the name of, as he has said in the past, not letting “the perfect be the enemy of the good.”