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Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro on Capitol Hill in June. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday advanced a spending bill for the Department of Health and Human Services excluding the Hyde Amendment, a provision that bans federal funding for most abortions.

Why it matters: The bill follows President Biden's proposed 2022 budget that would see the lifting of the ban. This is the first time since it became law in 1976 that the Hyde Amendment has been excluded from the spending bill.

The big picture: The amendment disproportionately impacts low-income women and many women of color who receive health coverage through government-sponsored plans like Medicaid.

  • The bill was cleared on Monday by the House Appropriations labor and health and human services subcommittee.

What to watch: It is expected to be approved by the full House panel before going to a vote.

  • It sets up abortion access as a key focus of negotiations on government funding between Democrats and Republicans, who could block the bill in the Senate if there are no changes to the measure.

What they're saying: House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who has called this legislation a priority, noted on Monday that "this is an issue on which many of us disagree," per The Hill.

  • "But regardless of the original intent of Hyde, it has disproportionately impacted women of color, and it has ultimately led to more unintended pregnancies and later riskier, and more costly abortions," she added.

The other side: Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the subcommittee's top Republican, said the Hyde Amendment needed to be reinstated for the bill to move forward, according to The Hill.

  • "Everyone in this room knows this bill will never pass the United States Senate without their inclusion," he added.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.

Biden headed to the Hill as Democrats struggle to reach deal on spending bills

President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leave a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday morning will meet with the House Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill to provide an update about his Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal, according to a White House official.

Driving the news: The meeting comes as Democrats struggle to reach a deal on the spending bills. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Sunday that Democrats were planning to reach an agreement on the infrastructure package this week, before Biden's departure to Europe, which is slated for later on Thursday.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
47 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why it's so hard to tax wealth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The wealth tax that wasn't a wealth tax isn't even a tax, now. The Democrats had a meticulously constructed 107-page proposal to pay for a large chunk of their spending plans with a tax on billionaires, but it died ignobly on Wednesday, the same day it was unveiled.

Why it matters: The dream of a wealth tax will never die as it so neatly generates revenue by reducing inequality. But there are three main reasons why that dream is likely to remain just a dream for the foreseeable future.