Speed Reads

hyde hypocrisy

These 2020 Democrats are grilling Biden over the Hyde Amendment. They voted for it too.

Joe Biden has some complicated stances on abortion — and so it seems do many other 2020 contenders.

The former vice president's team confirmed this week that he supports the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade, but also still backs the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funding from going toward abortion. Fellow presidential candidates soon took turns dragging Biden and pledging to repeal the amendment — but failed to mention that they'd voted to uphold it themselves.

The Hyde Amendment passed in 1977 as part of an appropriations bill, and, while it was only in effect as long as that budget lasted, has appeared in subsequent appropriations bills for decades. Even the Affordable Care Act contains a complicated provision that echoes Hyde. And while Biden would've been the only congressmember around to okay the original amendment, Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as well as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and then-Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), voted for a 2018 appropriations bill that contained similar language.

Of the current and former congressmembers running for president, only Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted down the 2018 bill. Still, Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, Warren, and others have all joined his call to repeal Hyde. New York City Mayor and 2020 Democrat Bill De Blasio is meanwhile safe from a Hyde Amendment history, but he's got some summer reading to do before attacking Biden for it. Kathryn Krawczyk