Dems push for removal of Hyde Amendment in HHS funding bill

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) (R) talks to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) prior to a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies at Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill July 14, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 1:02 PM PT – Thursday, July 15, 2021

A major House subcommittee has pushed through a spending bill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services without including a decades-old bipartisan amendment that prevents federally funded abortions. The Labor Health and Human Services Subcommittee approved the legislation on Monday, which would allow an unlimited amount of taxpayer dollars to be used for abortion procedures.

Republican Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.) voted against the bill saying Democrats are out of touch with what the American people want.

He also drew attention to the fact that for years members of the House had agreed to include the provision and allow Americans to live by their conscience. Cole pointed out Joe Biden was among those lawmakers at one time.

Many critics have called attention to this flip-flopping by Biden, including his vice president. Cole reiterated the bill is unlikely to pass through the Senate without the amendment in place.

Even if all Democrats supported removing the ban, including Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) who has publicly supported Hyde, the left would not have the votes to overcome a filibuster. Nevertheless, the bill is now headed to the full Appropriations Committee for a markup and an eventual vote where Republicans are likely to stand firm and secure the Hyde Amendment during negotiations.

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