By Bob Adelmann
Two hundred House Republicans pledged “to vote against any government funding bill that eliminates or weakens the Hyde Amendment” in a letter sent to congressional leaders on Tuesday.
The Hyde Amendment prohibits the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion. It’s estimated that the amendment has saved more than 60,000 babies from being murdered in their mothers’ wombs every year since it was first adopted more than 40 years ago. But it has to be included in the Medicaid funding bill every year.
That is why pro-abortion Democrats now think they see a way to rescind the rule, thanks to gaining control of the House. Leading the charge is Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who has made it clear that this is on her agenda. In early December, she said that while bills funding Medicaid always contained the amendment in the past, “this is the last year” that will happen.
Happily, the letter from Republicans throws a monkey wrench into their plans. In order for the Hyde Amendment to be discarded when Congress votes to fund Medicaid this year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will need some help from Republicans. Her success hangs on her obtaining the vote of every Democrat, which is far from certain. She will likely need the help from some RINOs.
The political risks are very high, as former House member Dan Lipinski, a “blue dog Democrat” from Illinois, explained: “Politically, I think [killing the amendment] would be a huge mistake for Democrats” because support for the amendment among Americans is so strong. If it somehow passes the House, it could jeopardize Democrats’ chances of retaining control of the House in 2022.
There’s another obstacle facing DeLauro and Pelosi: Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. In a statement to National Review, Manchin said:
As a life-long Catholic, I have always been pro-life and believe that the Hyde amendment ensures federal funds are not used to perform abortions anywhere in the country.
Repealing the Hyde amendment would be foolish, and I’m strongly opposed to this push from some Members of Congress. If this legislation is brought before the Senate I will vote against repealing the Hyde amendment.
His support of the Hyde Amendment spells the death knell for any attempt by Democrats to force the issue just because they think they can.
And support from President Biden will likely carry little weight. He had supported the Hyde Amendment consistently throughout his long political career — right up until July 2019, when he found it expedient to change his position under pressure from Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. When pressed on the issue during a debate, he not only reversed himself, but lied in the process:
I support a woman’s right to choose. I’ve supported it, I will continue to support it and I in fact will move as president to see to that the Congress legislates that that is the law.
The letter, authored by Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, who serves as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, concluded:
The Hyde Amendment alone has saved the lives of over two million innocent babies.… We cannot allow the Hyde Amendment … to be decimated by Congressional Democrats….
Accordingly, we pledge to vote against any government funding bill that eliminates or weakens the Hyde Amendment.
It’s nice to know that at least 200 Republican members of the House are willing to stand up and put their signatures on Banks’ letter. This may just keep the Democrats from neutering the Hyde Amendment, which has saved the lives of so many innocents over the years.
It’s also encouraging to note that they aren’t going to roll over and play dead as the Democrats attempt to Californicate the entire United States.