22 GOP states ask Congress to restore Hyde Amendment in order to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions
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Nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general (AGs) are calling on congressional leaders to reject President Biden’s proposal excluding the Hyde Amendment from the federal budget.
In a letter sent Monday, the 22 Republican AGs, led by Alabama’s Steve Marshall, said it was “unconscionable” to require abandoning the decades-old provision blocking taxpayer funding for abortions.
“If state taxpayers disagree with the services that their tax dollars pay for, they can ‘vote with their feet’ and move to a state with lower taxes or one that prioritizes spending differently,” reads the letter, which was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“But because one cannot move to avoid federal taxes,” the letter added, “there would be nowhere for a pro-life, or even a moderately pro-choice, American to go to avoid violating the moral or religious conviction that their hard-earned dollars not be used to fund abortions. The administration’s decision here is merely the most recent illustration of its having lost all sense of accountability to the taxpayer.”
Biden’s latest budget proposal represents a stark departure from his decades-long position on the issue and long-standing practice in Congress.
A study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, estimates that Hyde has saved nearly 2.5 million babies since 1976.
The push to repeal Hyde has gained significant momentum in recent years. Opponents of the amendment generally argue that it discriminates against poor women of color by withholding funds they disproportionately need.
Pelosi’s and Schumer’s offices did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. It’s unclear how the Democrat-controlled House will handle the issue but Democratic leaders have reportedly indicated at least some support for repeal.
“I myself have been an opponent of the Hyde Amendment long before I came to Congress, so I would be receptive to that happening,” Pelosi told reporters in December. “It’s long overdue, getting rid of it, in my view.”
Repealing Hyde will likely face an uphill battle in the Senate, where 50 Republican seats are tied with 50 from Democrats and their independent allies.
McCarthy has already pledged to oppose Biden’s budget, as did Senate Budget Committee ranking member Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said it was dead on arrival.
“It is insanely expensive. It dramatically increases nondefense spending and taxes,” said Graham. “Over time it will result in a weakened Department of Defense.”
“There will be serious discussions about government funding. But the Biden budget isn’t serious and it won’t be a part of those discussions.”
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