Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee have voted for a $253.8 billion appropriations package that leaves out the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision that prohibits the federal funding of abortion. This marks the first time since 1976, when the Hyde Amendment was originally passed, that the language has been excluded from the federal budget.
This was no mere oversight. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) had introduced an amendment to the funding package that would have added the Hyde amendment language to the bill, but Democrats flat-out rejected it.
“I do recognize that the issue of abortion is emotionally charged and that many Americans have differing points of view,” Cole said. “But even for Americans who consider themselves pro-choice on this issue, many if not most don’t believe tax dollars should be used for abortion.”
Republicans slammed the Democrats for their increasingly radical position on abortion. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell put the blame for the exclusion of the amendment on Joe Biden, whose longstanding support of the Hyde Amendment ended during his presidential campaign.
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“For decades, nearly his entire career, then-Senator Joe Biden was a reliable supporter of Hyde protections,” McConnell said during a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday. “But a couple of years ago on the presidential campaign trail, our former colleague changed his tune. He let the demands of the increasingly radical Left overcome a principle he had held literally for decades.”
“Today the Democrat Party has shown just how radical they have become,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
The Democrat-controlled House Appropriations Committee also voted earlier this month to remove the Helms Amendment from a $62 billion foreign aid bill. The Helms Amendment prohibits the use of federal dollars from funding abortions outside the United States.