Wicker, Hyde-Smith decry Senate’s decision to exclude pro-life amendments from relief bill

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., speaks during the Senate Energy and Natural Resources...
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., speaks during the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine nomination of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., to be Secretary of Energy, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)(Graeme Jennings | AP)
Updated: Mar. 6, 2021 at 8:47 AM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLBT) - Sens. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker decry the Senate’s decision to exclude amendments from a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that would prevent taxpayer money from being used for abortions.

Wicker went on to say that he would oppose the legislation, describing the bill as being “full of unnecessary spending that will overheat the economy at a time when infections are dropping nationwide.”

Mississippi’s senior senator also said that less than 10 percent of the bill’s provisions would toward immediate COVID-19 needs.

“It is no surprise that this bill has not earned a single Republican vote,” Wicker said in a statement. “This is no way to govern, and I strongly oppose this legislation.”

On Saturday, the Senate narrowly pushed through the bill, which will provide $1,400 stimulus checks to many Americans.

Republicans sought to add several amendments to the measure, including the Hyde Amendment, which would prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to fund most abortions.

The more than 40-year-old Hyde amendment prohibits Medicaid and other federal dollars from being used on abortions, except in the case of rape, incest, or if the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother, according to KFF.org, a national health issues website.

GOP-backed efforts, though, failed to gain traction in a Senate where Democrats hold 50 seats and a one-vote majority with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Hyde-Smith and Wicker both took to social media Saturday to voice their frustrations.

“The Democrats’ vote to dismiss the Hyde Amendment to allow taxpayer-funded abortions is more evidence of how off the rails this so-called COVID relief bill is,” Hyde-Smith tweeted.

Wicker and Hyde-Smith both shared a tweet from Montana Sen. Steve Daines, who called the Democrat’s decision to block the Hyde Amendment “shameful.”

“Democrats voted to allow billions of taxpayer dollars to be used to fund abortions,” Daines tweeted.

On Friday, Wicker had joined Daines (R) and James Lankford (R, Okla.) to introduce a series of pro-life amendments to the bill.

Wicker’s amendment would have blocked rural health grants from going toward procedures to terminate pregnancies.

Daines, meanwhile, proposed an amendment to apply the Hyde rule to three sections of the package to prohibit state and local aid, foreign aid, and provider relief funds from going to abortions, a release from Wicker’s office states.

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