EXCLUSIVE: Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., sent a bipartisan letter to the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to protect the Hyde Amendment and maintain this "long-standing provision" in the Fiscal Year 2022 bill.
The senators crossed the aisle in a letter to both Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and ranking member Richard Shelby, R-Ala., expressing their "support for the Hyde Amendment."
Wicker and Manchin noted the amendment "has been included in annual appropriations bills on a bipartisan basis since 1976" and has been a "decades-long, consensus-building compromise" before calling for its inclusion in the budget.
The Hyde Amendment is a long-standing Medicaid amendment that prohibits federal taxpayer dollars from going toward elective abortions except in cases of rape, incest or the mother’s life being in danger.
"Recent public polls show almost 60% of Americans oppose or strongly oppose using taxpayer dollars to support abortion," the senators wrote. "Both Democrat and Republican presidents have signed the Hyde Amendment into law."
"It has passed through both Democrat and Republican-controlled Congresses, and it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1980," they continued. "Repealing this provision would eliminate over 40 years of bipartisan precedent."
Leahy’s committee office did not responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.
In a Wednesday email to Fox News, Shelby signalled his support for the Hyde Amendment and agreed with the letter's authors that it is a bipartisan "compromise."
"I support the Hyde Amendment. Like the letter states, it is a compromise that both Democrat and Republican-led Congresses have supported," Shelby said. "It was even upheld by the highest court in the land."
"I agree that any effort to repeal the Hyde Amendment from our appropriations bills would undo 40 years of bipartisan precedent and impede our efforts to fund the government," he added.
President Biden recently flipped on his decades-long stance supporting the bipartisan amendment and congressional Democrats dropped the measure from the budget this year in an unprecedented move.
On Tuesday, over 100 conservative leaders and activists sent a letter to congressional Republicans calling on them to support the decades-old compromise.