Democrats are stuck on abortion and gun control. They have a backup plan

Democrats are stuck on abortion and gun control. They have a backup plan

Congressional Democrats dream of ditching long-held Republican bans that block abortion funding and stifle gun violence research. Even with total control in Washington, they still can’t make it happen. To soften that defeat, they’re plotting to spend billions of dollars on reproductive health and gun violence prevention this year. Henry Hyde has been dead for 13 years, Jay Dickey for four, and yet the namesake policies of the two former lawmakers continue to haunt top Democrats who can’t kill the ban on federal funding for abortions or limits on gun control. The Hyde and Dickey amendments are especially salient reminders that, on the whole, the Democratic party is still not willing to buck the NRA or antiabortion advocates. Instead, they’re looking for workarounds that involve more spending. President Joe Biden is expected to call on Congress in his budget proposal this week to ditch the 45-year-old ban on abortion funding, after supporting that prohibition throughout his career. But Biden’s recent reversal on the Hyde amendment won’t be enough to overcome the Senate, where moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) oppose repealing the ban and Democrats ultimately need Republican support to enact spending bills. “Every indication is that it has a slim chance in the Senate,” Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), a top House appropriator, said of the effort to nix the abortion spending ban in particular. “But that doesn’t mean that, at certain points, you don’t stand up for it.” Democrats are planning budget boosts for sexual and reproductive health […]

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