Really? What was your first clue? Not long after the Senate passed the COVID-19 relief/stimulus bill, a group of evangelicals took a look at the language and discovered they’d been had by Joe Biden. “We feel used and betrayed,” wrote Dr. Richard Mouw and Ronald Sider.
If so, the group “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden” have no one but themselves to blame (via Twitchy):
The authors of the letter claim they supported Biden with the idea that there would be “engagement on the issue of abortion and particularly the Hyde Amendment.” Why precisely would they have believed that? The Democratic Party has campaigned against the Hyde Amendment for several years now, starting with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Biden has stopped talking about “safe, legal, and rare” as well as his “personal” opposition to abortion in favor of full-throated support for unfettered access to abortion not just at home but abroad as well. His pick for Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, sued the federal government to force nuns to pay for abortion coverage.
At the same time, though, the COVID-19 bill seems a strange place to draw this line in the sand. The Hyde Amendment normally gets attached to budget bills, not bills of this type. Although the cost of this bill approaches that of previous omnibus spending bills, presumably the Hyde Amendment prohibiting federal funds being used for abortions will come up in the next budget cycle as it normally does. It would have been nice to get that language in this bill too, especially given all of the bloc-grant funding given to states, but presumably the previous iteration of Hyde still applies.
Nevertheless, the PLEBes are doomed to disappointment if they expected Biden to seriously consider pro-life initiatives in his administration. The Biden of 1988 might have considered that, but not the Biden of 2008-17, let alone the Biden of 2021. Biden was willing to jolly along pro-life liberals for a while, but the only people who can profess surprise that “there has been no dialogue since the campaign” are those for whom 2020 was their first foray into American politics.
The PLEBes still want a meeting, and change to the COVID-19 bill in Nancy Pelosi’s House. Lotsa luck with that. “If this is not done,” warn Mouw and Sider, “it will raise the question of whether or not we are still welcome in the Democratic Party.” That question doesn’t exist, whether they know it or not.