The infighting among progressives on Capitol Hill is palpable as discussions intensify about the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment being a red line, or non-negotiable, issue on either side of the aisle. Leftists have taken direct aim at moderates who have concerns with the Democrats' proposed $3.5 trillion spending package. Some members such as Bernie Sanders have directly attacked Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)for his defense of Hyde, while several radical activists even accosted Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in a bathroom stall and chased her through an airport.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) stated on Sunday that she would not support a budget that included the Hyde Amendment. She subsequently qualified her statement, claiming "[t]he Hyde amendment is the law. I would like to repeal it, but I'm not suggesting we put the repeal into this [reconciliation] bill." Yet this leaves little solace.
The unwillingness of Democrats to seriously negotiate to include the Hyde Amendment, which has been reauthorized every year since its establishment in 1976, demonstrates that there is a deeply-rooted agenda at work. During "Washington Watch," Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma explained that radical progressives "want to have more abortions in America [...] and they've been very clear on this over the last even 72 hours with the Women's March and everything else." As Senator Lankford noted, "They're not just pro-choice, they are pro-abortion."
Manchin, who was a necessary vote for the COVID-19 reconciliation package passed earlier this year, now feels increasingly isolated from his own party as progressives ramp up pressure to comply with their unnecessary tax and spending plan. The senator has indicated complete confidence, however, that he will stand his ground on the necessity to protect Hyde. In an interview with National Review last week, Manchin emphasized, "Yeah, we're not taking the Hyde amendment off. Hyde's going to be on." Manchin stated that the Medicaid program would be "dead on arrival" if Hyde was not included. In another interview with a Hill reporter, Manchin also stated, "the Hyde Amendment is a redline."
Manchin's recent advocacy for the Hyde Amendment is nothing new. Lankford commented on Manchin's defense of the Hyde Amendment, saying that he, "has been pretty outspoken to say he hasn't moved on this -- the Left has moved. [...] Manchin is the one who's actually remained consistent in this. The Left has just gone a lot farther left [...]."
The point that radical Democrats are consistently missing in their pressure on Manchin is that his support for Hyde is not a mere policy preference, but also a reflection of his mission to honor his constituents' desires. When Manchin was reelected in 2018, the people of West Virginia voted 51.7 percent to 48.2 percent to add a state constitutional amendment that clarified "nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion." The state subsequently added a Hyde Amendment to their state statute. The people of West Virginia have already spoken on the issue of abortion funding, and Manchin is performing his duty as an elected legislator to support their opinion.
In his interview, Lankford also stated that "overwhelmingly, Americans support the Hyde Amendment. Even that guy named Senator Joe Biden supported the Hyde Amendment when he was in the Senate." In 2019, just prior to his presidential campaign, President Biden publicly supported the Hyde Amendment. The candidate quickly retracted this stance and affirmed his opposition of Hyde after receiving backlash from fellow Democrats.
Manchin's dedication to preserving the Hyde Amendment demonstrates his strength to do what Joe Biden, a baptized Catholic, could not even do: stand up to abortion extremists on the Left and defend the consciences of the American people to be free from funding the murder of the innocent with their taxpayer dollars.
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