Jun 7, 2019

Biden flips on support for Hyde Amendment

Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

In a dramatic reversal, 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden told a DNC summit in Atlanta Thursday night that would call for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, per AP.

Be smart: This, plus Biden's left-of-Obama climate plan, shows the gravitational pull of liberals.

The big picture: Biden has been a longtime supporter of the amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest or life-threatening circumstances. Abortion rights have become an increasingly divisive topic for Democratic presidential hopefuls following a series of recent abortion bans in Red states.

  • Biden's campaign confirmed his support of the Hyde Amendment on Wednesday before he backpedaled on his decades-long support. Other 2020 Democrats used Biden's original stance to attack the front-runner, and position themselves as contenders.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Biden was wrong for supporting the congressional ban at an MSNBC town hall earlier in the week.
  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Tex.) also described Biden's abortion stance as "absolutely wrong."

What he's saying: Biden says at a time when Republicans are "are denying the poorest and vulnerable Americans," he can't rationalize supporting the amendment any longer, per NBC. He also said he only supported the amendment because he believed there was wide enough access to abortions without government support, per AP.

“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment” that makes it more difficult for some women to access health care."
— Former Vice President Joe Biden, reports the New York Times

Go deeper: Where Joe Biden stands on abortion

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.