MURDOCK: Hyde Amendment May Save America and Kill the Bill

Senator Joe Manchin (D - West Virginia) addresses supporters outside the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Senate Democrats via Wikimedia Commons.

Congressional Democrats are busy negotiating, not with Republicans, but with themselves. They are torn internally over the fate of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act. And the ghost of the late Congressman Henry Hyde (R – Illinois) might keep them too divided to enact this legislation.

The BBBA, as currently written, is a 2,465-page socialist spend-o-rama. Its reported price tag is $3.5 trillion, although this figure climbs to an estimated $5.5 trillion, absent Democrat accounting gimmicks. Add $200 billion in expected debt-service obligations on this ginormous measure, and its true, 10-year cost hits $5.7 trillion.

This sum is too high for Senator Joe Manchin (D – West Virginia). He has said he will not support a measure above $1.5 trillion. However, in recent days, he has sounded flexible even on this amount.

The Democrat far-Left considers Biden’s $5.7 trillion spending orgy a moderate first date. The neo-Marxist set is bitterly disappointed to see things shrivel below that figure, even at $39,777 in new spending for each of America’s 143.3 million taxpayers. But if they want Biden’s signature on legislation, they will have to swallow a lower number.

Democrats might agree to such a spending level before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D – California) vote deadline: Halloween. 

Harder than this, Democrats also must overcome Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s (D – Arizona) objections to corporate tax increases. She correctly argues that higher business levies will hinder the economy and make America less competitive. The Democrat proposal to hike the corporate tax from 21 percent to 26.5 percent or even 28 percent would put America to the Left of Communist China! Xi Jinping’s 25 percent rate would look comparatively supply side. But without additional corporate tax revenue, Democrats will have to shake down other taxpayers, which would keep a final deal elusive.

Harder still, Manchin also says he will not support a bill that lacks affluence tests and work requirements for personal and family subsidies. The far-Left hates this. They prefer to irrigate Americans with taxpayer money, as if from firehoses. 

Income restrictions? Not so much. 

Expectations that entitlement recipients exert themselves for their federal checks? Fuhgeddaboudit.

But even if Democrats straighten this pretzel, another of Manchin’s conditions could snap it into pieces: The Hyde Amendment’s ban on federal abortion subsidies.

“Yeah, we’re not taking the Hyde Amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on,” Manchin told National Review regarding BBBA’s Medicaid-expansion program. “It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.” 

Manchin has opposed abortion for years. He declared on the Senate floor in April 2011: “On many of these social issues, I will be the first to admit that I am more conservative than others in the Congress. I am pro-life, and proud of it.”

If Manchin keeps his word and insists on this vital point, Democrat congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayana Presley of Massachusetts, and the rest of the far Left will leap from the Capitol dome before they agree to this. Abortion is their religion, and they most assuredly will balk at making women who want to kill their babies have the good taste to do so without handing their abortion invoices to taxpayers.

The entire BBBA could collapse on this one condition — as well it should.

Citizens who want to save America and kill this bill should contact Senator Manchin at once. Praise him for his bold, principled pro-life leadership. Thank him for stating publicly that any budget deal must include the Hyde Amendment, as federal spending plans have done since 1976. Urge him to fight for this position. And tell him that pro-lifers will watch his words and, more important, deeds in the days ahead, to guarantee that he keeps his promise to unborn Americans.

While Democrats might compromise on budget levels, tax rates, and work requirements, there is no way to split the baby metaphorically regarding taxpayer dollars to kill babies literally.

Americans can reach Senator Joe Manchin via the contact information below. Remember: While faxes are old school, it is much harder to ignore paper spewing out of a machine than lines in an e-mail inbox.

Washington, D.C.

306 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

P: 202-224-3954

F: 202-228-0002

Charleston, WV

900 Pennsylvania Avenue

Suite 629

Charleston, WV 25302

P: 304-342-5855

F: 304-343-7144

Fairmont, WV

230 Adams Street

Fairmont, WV 26554

P: 304-368-0567

F: 304-368-0198

e-mail portal:

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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