The White House refused to offer a straight answer Tuesday on whether the latest nearly $2 trillion coronavirus spending package would include taxpayer funding for abortion.
“Can you guarantee Americans, who don’t want their tax dollars funding abortion, can the administration guarantee those tax dollars won’t fund abortion?” one reporter asked at the afternoon White House press briefing. The reporter had just listed off a series of high-priced items found in the bill, such as Title X programs and community health centers, absent provisions for applying the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits tax dollars from funding abortion.
When White House press secretary Jen Psaki deflected on answering the question, the reporter doubled down, asking, “Can you guarantee Americans who don’t want their tax dollars — pro-life Americans who don’t want their tax dollars funding abortions — can the administration guarantee those tax dollars won’t fund abortion?”
“Three-quarters of the public supports the components of the package, wants to see the pandemic get under control, wants to see people put back to work, vaccines in arms, so I think that answers your question,” Psaki said before moving on to the next question.
REPORTER: "Can you guarantee Americans — who don’t want their tax dollars funding abortion, can the administration guarantee those tax dollars won't fund abortion?"
PSAKI: "3/4s of the public supports the components of the package." pic.twitter.com/2avXhMJtG6
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 16, 2021
Biden entered the 2020 presidential race as a supporter of the Hyde Amendment before the progressive political current sweeping the Democratic Party forced the former vice president to flip on the campaign trail. At one point, Biden received flak on the policy from then-California Sen. Kamala Harris, who would end up being his vice president.
While a Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month shows three-quarters of Americans support Biden’s $1.9 trillion package, as Psaki claimed, the Hyde Amendment remains deeply unpopular among the American public.
A new Marist poll out in January, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, found 58 percent of Americans supported the policy barring tax dollars from funding abortion. Another 77 percent said they were opposed to the United States funding abortions overseas. The Biden administration has already paved the way for American tax dollars to pay for the practice abroad by revoking the Mexico City Policy, which prohibited it.
On the Hyde Amendment, Psaki reaffirmed the administration’s opposition to the policy Wednesday.
“The president’s view on the Hyde Amendment is well known,” Psaki said. “He’s shared his view on the Hyde Amendment; I don’t think I have anything for you.”