Joe Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” spending plan has had Democrats fighting with Democrats and Republicans vowing opposition throughout the last week on Capitol Hill. The confusion and rapid-pace negotiations have provided more than enough cover for leftists to sneak in provisions for federal funding abortions nationwide.
Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that there is a constitutional right to abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case, most Americans have opposed using federal taxpayer money to pay for abortions. The “Hyde amendment” that has been part of every budget bill since has prohibited such funding.
During this week’s Democratic infighting, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been vocal in demanding that the Hyde amendment remain intact as part of the proposed new spending bills.
Manchin told National Review last week that he is concerned about abortion funding as part of new Medicaid programs proposed in the $3.5 trillion spending plan. He said that the Senate is “not taking the Hyde amendment off.” The pro-life moderate added that the bill is “dead on arrival” without the Hyde amendment.
Manchin is becoming more isolated among Democrats as a voice for pro-life legislation as the days go by. He has also drawn sharp criticism from fellow Democrats for calling the amount of spending proposed in the Build Back Better plan “insane.”
During meetings on Capitol Hill on Friday between Congressional leaders and President Biden, it began to appear that progressives may have to live with negotiating downward from the current $3.5 trillion price tag on their budget reconciliation bill.
Americans can expect the spotlight to continue to shine on Manchin as he works to deliver a politically acceptable outcome to his very conservative state. President Trump took 68.2 percent of the vote in last year’s presidential election in West Virginia, compared to 29.9 percent for Joe Biden.
Whether Manchin plans to take a stand for the Hyde amendment as political cover for supporting some version of Biden’s behemoth spending bill remains to be seen.