The Hyde Amendment: A brief history
Everything to know about the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding from supporting abortions.
The political news outlet The Hill was slammed by critics on Thursday for labeling the decades old Hyde Amendment as “controversial.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced on Wednesday that he would refuse to vote for the Democrat’s reconciliation bill if it didn’t include the Hyde Amendment. Manchin told the National Review that any version of the reconciliation bill that Democrats hope to pass will have to include the Hyde Amendment to earn his vote.
“Yeah, we’re not taking the Hyde Amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on,” Manchin said. He later added “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.”
The Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1977, prohibited Medicaid and other federal programs from providing tax-payer dollars for abortions. For decades the Hyde Amendment received wide bipartisan support. President Biden supported Hyde protections for most of his political career but flipped when he became president, following the growing leftward trend in the Democrat Party on the issue.
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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., walks out of the U.S. Capitol to speak to members of the media, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Critics slammed The Hill for labeling the Hyde Amendment as “controversial” and noted that recent polls show a majority of Americans support the protections.
“A January 2021 Marist poll found Americans back the Hyde amendment 58% to 38%. Nearly identical to results of Politico/Harvard poll from 2016,” National Review White House correspondent John McCormack tweeted.
Republican strategist Doug Heye asked, “Controversial to whom? The majority of the public supports it. That once included Joe Biden.”
Washington Examiner reporter Kimberly Ross wrote, “Props to Senator Manchin for insisting that the Hyde Amendment be included in reconciliation legislation. Despite loud claims to the contrary, Hyde isn’t extreme at all. It just keeps federal funds from going to pay for abortions. It should always be protected.”
“The Hyde Amendment is ‘controversial?’ Biden was a supporter of it for 40 years. Changed his mind during the campaign,” National Review senior writer David Harsanyi also wrote.
However, many progressive were outraged by Manchin’s ultimatum and vowed to fight him.
“Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D.-Mich., tweeted, “This on a day where @RepJayapal @CoriBush+ @RepBarbaraLee are courageously testifying before @OversightDems about their lived experiences. This, during a time when we are fighting back against an attack on women’s right to health care and choice.”
“As the right to reproductive health care is under attack across the country. As I was testifying in the committee about my personal experience with getting an abortion. As you block lifesaving legislation in the Senate. As you profit off of blocking these bills. Shame on you,” fellow “Squad” member Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. wrote.
Manchin has faced immense pressure from progressive Democrats for opposing President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending bill.
“While I am hopeful that common ground can be found that would result in another historic investment in our nation, I cannot – and will not – support trillions in spending or an all or nothing approach that ignores the brutal fiscal reality our nation faces,” Manchin said. “There is a better way and I believe we can find it if we are willing to continue to negotiate in good faith.”
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