Top Democrats disagree on including Hyde Amendment in economic bill
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Top Democrats disagree on including Hyde Amendment in economic bill

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Sunday she would not support a sweeping economic bill if it includes the Hyde Amendment, adding another complicating factor to the ongoing negotiations among Democrats as they hash out details for the massive spending bill.

The Hyde Amendment blocks federal funds from being used for most abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is in danger.

Her comments on CNN’s “State of the Union” come after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — a crucial Democratic vote in the 50-50 Senate — said last week the Hyde Amendment’s inclusion would be necessary for a package to have his support.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, on Sunday did not rule out including the Hyde Amendment, arguing that he doesn’t want that issue to sink the legislation.

“I’ll tell you, I voted for both in the past because I have to measure it against the value of the package itself,” Durbin told CNN’s Dana Bash, when asked if he will vote in favor of the bill if it includes the amendment. “Build Back Better is the future for many working families. It gives them a chance to finally break away from the inequality in our economy and to have some optimism about the future. So, I don’t want to let the package break down over that issue.”

Manchin, who represents a red state, has described himself as “pro-life and proud of it” previously. “Yeah, we’re not taking the Hyde amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on,” Manchin told National Review last week. “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.”

But Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat, drew a line on the issue Sunday, telling Bash “no” when asked if she would vote in favor of the bill if it’s included.

“Let’s just wait, this is a negotiation and we’ve got to continue to move this forward, but the Hyde Amendment is something that the majority of the country does not support,” Jayapal, who has been public about her own abortion, said.

“One in four women have had an abortion and need to have reproductive care in a very, very important time when those protections are being rolled back. That is nobody’s business. It is our business as people that carry the babies. And you know, we have to be able to make the choices during our pregnancy.”

“None of the dollars here are going for that,” she said when asked whether she wanted federal dollars in the legislation going toward abortions.

President Joe Biden came out against the Hyde Amendment in 2019 during the Democratic primary, reversing his long-held support for the measure.

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