Differing stances within the Democratic party on the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for most abortions, may derail President Joe Biden’s reconciliation bill.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill and Biden’s Build Back Better agenda have stalled in Congress as Democratic lawmakers spar on various issues. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have openly balked at the $3.5 trillion price tag for the reconciliation bill and in response, progressives have issued threats to tank the bipartisan bill.
While the price tag is one of the focal points for Manchin and Sinema, it’s not the only issue. Manchin, who has long issued pro-life comments, told the National Review last week that the bill is “dead on arrival” if it doesn’t include the Hyde Amendment.
“We’re not taking the Hyde amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on,” Manchin said. “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.”
Following Manchin’s comments, Democratic Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus, told CNN on Sunday that she absolutely would not vote for a bill that includes the amendment. She later noted that it’s “a negotiation” while claiming that most “of the country does not support” the Hyde Amendment.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki also weighed in on the debate when asked where Biden stands on including the amendment in the reconciliation bill. She told reporters Monday that Biden “opposes the Hyde Amendment” and his opinion has “not changed,” though she declined to directly address Manchin’s comments.
Psaki also said she wouldn’t be negotiating on the package from the podium, a comment often heard from the administration amid their efforts to get Democrats united on Biden’s agenda.
“The Hyde Amendment is a red line,” Manchin said later Monday following Psaki’s remarks.
The White House has not noted how it plans to overcome Manchin’s “red line” stance on the amendment. The administration has so far kept its negotiating tactics close, opting to allow lawmakers to speak for themselves regarding meetings and discussions with Biden.
While it’s clear Biden remains steadfastly against the Hyde Amendment – and Manchin for it – what’s unclear is how much the current president is willing to negotiate on the subject. If the president buckles on the Hyde Amendment to get Manchin’s support, other Democratic lawmakers like Jayapal appear ready to step up and oppose the bill.
LifeNews Note: Shelby Talcott writes for Daily Caller. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience.
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