Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), seen as a key Democratic swing vote, voted for Lankford’s amendment, as did moderate Republican senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
In response, pro-life groups on Wednesday praised the amendment’s passage, and Manchin’s support for it.
“We thank Senator Manchin for being the notable exception by standing up for unborn children, their mothers, and pro-life American taxpayers today,” stated Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.
Democrats for Life of America tweeted their praise of Manchin on Tuesday evening.
The group’s executive director Kristen Day, meanwhile, criticized Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) for opposing the amendment.
“It is a sad day. @SenBobCasey has officially sold his soul to the abortion lobby voting for abortion funding, killing viable preborn infants after 20 weeks, and voting to allow ending the lives of children with down syndrome. What would his father say?” Day tweeted.
While a COVID relief package that passed Congress earlier this year funded abortions, the threat of abortion funding is even greater now, Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, told CNA last week.
“I’m trying to make sure that people understand that this time around, it’s an even bigger threat,” he said.
He explained that by not including Hyde Amendment language blocking abortion funding in the budget package, billions of dollars in health care spending could fund abortions in Medicaid and other programs.
Other senators introduced pro-life amendments to the budget resolution, but those were not agreed to.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) offered an amendment to create a deficit-neutral reserve fund, establishing penalties for providers performing abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization or thereafter. Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) amendment created a deficit-neutral reserve fund, which could be used to prohibit funding of abortions of children with Down syndrome.
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Kennedy’s amendment failed by a vote of 48-51, with Manchin supporting it and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voting against it. Inhofe’s amendment failed by a vote of 49-50, with Collins voting against it.
Matt Hadro was the political editor at Catholic News Agency through October 2021. He previously worked as CNA senior D.C. correspondent and as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith.