In a historical first (in 45 years), the House has passed a spending measure that pays for Medicaid without the Hyde Amendment, a rule that safeguards taxpayers from being forced to fund abortions. The spending law will face a hard hurdle and big pushback in the Senate, and the bill sets a horrifying precedent for pro-life Americans.
The bill, which has seven of the twelve yearly appropriations bills to pay for the government for the next fiscal year, which starts on October 1, succeeded in the House with a vote of 219-208.
Republicans were against the bill because Dems had removed two vital abortion-related sections: the Hyde and the Weldon Amendment, with the Weldon measure prohibiting agencies from getting federal funding from discriminating against groups because they refuse to give or pay for abortions.
“We have many policy differences that we work to resolve, but protecting the lives of unborn babies must be the initial step,” Republican Congressman Kay Granger (Texas), the top GOP member on the House Appropriations Committee said.
Some Dems, meanwhile, say that the Hyde Amendment is racist. “These measures have long had a disproportionate impact on lower-income women of color,” Democrat Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Calif.), said. “Removing them from the books will be a large step forward for racial justice.”
The bill, which comes to a total of $617 billion in spending, would expand funding for several agencies, inducing the Dept. of Education, the CDC, and the IRS. The bill covers the Dept. of Labor, HHS, Agriculture, Education, Transportation, HUD, Energy, Interior, Treasury and Veterans Affairs.
Some Democrats celebrated the bill’s success as a historic milestone for abortion.
“The House just enacted a spending measure FREE of the Hyde Amendment! This is proof of the collective willpower of our 130+ strong group. This is Abortion Justice at work,” the pro-abortion organization All Above All said.
Indeed, moderate Dems stopped an effort to enact a Medicaid spending bill without a Hyde Amendment back in 1993. At this time, even pro-choice Dems understood that making taxpayers pay for abortions was too far.
Author: Blake Ambrose