Biden indicates he would sign reconciliation bill with Hyde amendment
President Biden indicated Tuesday that he would sign Democrats’ reconciliation bill even if it included the Hyde amendment, a controversial provision that bars federal funds from being used for most abortions.
“I’d sign it either way,” Biden told reporters Tuesday evening when asked if he would sign the bill if the Hyde amendment were included, a demand of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The White House has said that Biden opposes the Hyde amendment.
Manchin’s demand that the amendment be included in the reconciliation package has emerged as a new hurdle in negotiations over the bill.
“Yeah, we’re not taking the Hyde amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on,” Manchin told National Review last week. “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said she would not vote for a bill that includes the Hyde amendment.
“The Hyde amendment is something that the majority of the country does not support,” Jayapal said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “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.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Monday that Biden opposes the Hyde amendment, which prevents Medicaid and other federal programs from covering the costs of abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when the pregnant person’s life is endangered.
“I’m not going to negotiate the package from here, but, as you know, the president opposes the Hyde amendment,” Psaki told reporters on Monday when asked about Manchin’s demand. “That has not changed.”
Democrats are currently locked in negotiations over the reconciliation package. Manchin has objected to the initial price tag of $3.5 trillion, and Biden has indicated that the overall cost will need to come down in order to appease the senator and other moderates.
In order to pass the bill — which will include a large portion of Biden’s economic agenda — all 50 Senate Democrats must vote in favor of the legislation. No Republicans are expected to support it.