Joe Manchin sticks up for Hyde Amendment

Senator Joe Manchin
Senator Joe Manchin

A group of pro-life Democrats has praised Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., for working to preserve a longstanding ban on the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions and is calling on another pro-life Democrat to seek the White House in 2024.

Manchin co-wrote a letter calling on the influential Senate Appropriations Committee to include the Hyde Amendment in the Department of Health and Human Services’ funding bill for fiscal year 2022, slated to begin Oct. 1. The letter, dated Wednesday, was co-authored by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and addressed to Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as well as the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.

“We write to express our support for the Hyde Amendment, which has been included in annual appropriations bills on a bipartisan basis since 1976,” they began. The senators explained that “this amendment prohibits federal funding for elective abortion coverage, except in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger, through any program funded through the Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act.”

The letter concluded with a warning that “repealing this provision would eliminate over 40 years of bipartisan precedent.”

In an interview with The Christian Post, Dan Green, the national communications director for the pro-life group Democrats for Life of America, praised Manchin’s letter as “awesome,” adding, “Joe Manchin has personally promised to us that he’ll do everything he can to save the Hyde Amendment.” According to Green, “We fully expect that he will maintain Hyde … in the Senate and that it ultimately will be in the final bill.”

Manchin’s vow to support the preservation of the Hyde Amendment is significant because of the Democrats’ narrow majority in the Senate. Democrats hold 50 of the 100 seats, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote. Based on the math, if Manchin and all Republicans oppose the passage of a spending bill without the Hyde Amendment, such a bill would lack the votes necessary to pass in the chamber.

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