Moderate and progressive Democrats duke it out over Hyde Amendment

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Manchin spoke on the debt limit and the infrastructure bill. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Manchin spoke on the debt limit and the infrastructure bill. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 1:43 PM PT – Wednesday, October 6, 2021

A new point of contention has surfaced for the already divided Democrat Party in the debate over the $3.5 trillion spending plan, that being the Hyde Amendment. Joe Biden took a weak stance on whether abortions should be federally funded on Tuesday.

“I’d sign it either way,” said Biden. The Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer dollars from funding abortions, with the exception of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is threatened.

Meanwhile, one Democrat senator has taken a stance on the decades-old amendment, calling it a red line. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has even gone so far as to say the bill would be dead on arrival in any attempt by his fellow lawmakers to remove it. However, some of his progressive colleagues are trying to do just that.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) has continuously expressed her plans to push for the amendment’s removal from the reconciliation bill.

“This is a negotiation and we’ve gotta continue to move this forward, but the Hyde Amendment is something that the majority of the country does not support. 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.”

She has taken interviews where she goes on to prove the point of many who are opposed to repealing the Hyde Amendment.

“That is nobody’s business. It is our [women’s] business as people who carry the babies. And we have to be able to make those choices during our pregnancy,” Jayapal said.

Although, critics have said repealing the amendment would make abortions every American’s business. The Supreme Court has held the same view on Hyde since 1980, saying it doesn’t violate equal protection or due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Some lawmakers like Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who supports the amendment, question whether it would need to be included in this particular package when it’s normally part of Congress’ annual government appropriations bills. But regardless, Manchin said Congress has to work together to make this legislation work.

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