Disappointed, used and betrayed — that is how high-profile pro-life evangelicals who supported President Biden say they feel at this time, just six weeks after he took office. They wonder now whether they are still “welcome” in the Democratic Party.
The reason for these sentiments is straightforward.
“We are very disappointed about the COVID-19 relief package’s exclusion of the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding bipartisan policy that prevents taxpayer funding for abortion. We’re even more upset that the Biden administration is supporting this bill,” states an open letter from Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden, a group which includes pastors, community organizers, academics, seminary officials and media-minded folk such as John Huffman, board chairman emeritus of Christianity Today, and author Jerushah Duford, granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham.
“As pro-life leaders in the evangelical community, we publicly supported President Biden‘s candidacy with the understanding that there would be engagement us on the issue of abortion and particularly the Hyde Amendment. The Biden team wanted to talk to us during the campaign to gain our support, and we gave it on the condition there would be active dialogue and common ground solutions on the issue of abortion. There has been no dialogue since the campaign,” the group writes.
“We call on President Biden to honor his commitment to us and immediately demand that the House of Representatives apply the Hyde language to the American Relief Package. This is no time for radical change to longstanding abortion policy,” they note.
They are also specifically calling on Democratic Reps. Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Marcy Kaptur and Tim Ryan of Ohio, Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, and Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts to oppose the bill as it now stands, and demand the Hyde Amendment be included.
“If this is not done it will raise the question of whether or not we are still welcome in the Democratic Party,” the signers declared.
Welcome to a new feature for Inside the Beltway which provides occasional updates about former President Donald Trump. At the moment, he is on a solo trip to his old stomping grounds in New York City.
He arrived in midtown Manhattan at 9 p.m. Sunday in a black SUV accompanied by security motorcade. News coverage was minimal but straightforward.
“The NYPD is providing additional security for the former president while he is in town. Barricades and parking restrictions can be expected around Trump Tower,” reported local radio station WABC.
Mr. Trump also waved to cheering fans, according to several press accounts.
In the meantime, he will also vote in local elections at his permanent residence in Florida.
‘Former President Donald Trump is set to fulfill his civic duty as a private citizen and vote in the town of Palm Beach’s municipal election. Despite his false claims about mail voting during the 2020 election cycle, Trump requested a mail ballot on Friday for the third time in his Palm Beach County voter history,” reports the Palm Beach Post.
Palm Beach County municipal elections will take place Tuesday, by the way.
NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT
“Joe Biden, why are you more concerned about opening our borders than you are about opening our schools?”
That is a question that Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has for President Biden. She is well qualified to ask as a mother of several children who are, she says, currently enrolled in “virtual school.”
Supposing this predicament had happened during former President Donald Trump‘s watch? There would have been a press meltdown to be sure.
“It is time for the media to treat Joe Biden like they would Donald Trump. Because this would have been unacceptable with a Republican president. We deserve to hear from this president why he is enacting these policies,” Ms. McDaniel said in an interview with Fox News.
$10 MILLION TO SAFEGUARD ELECTIONS
They are determined to bolster the security of state election systems, That would be Heritage Action for America, the grassroots activist arm of the Heritage Foundation, which is funding the first-ever state advocacy campaign to secure and strengthen state election systems, with an initial investment of $10 million and a commitment to devote “whatever funding it takes” to accomplish its goals.
“Free and fair elections are the bedrock of democracy, and secure elections are important to every American, says executive director Jessica Anderson.
“After a year when voters’ trust in our elections plummeted, restoring that trust should be the top priority of legislators and governors nationwide,” she said.
The outreach will push to advance common-sense best practices at election time to curb voter fraud — including verifying the accuracy of voter rolls and the U.S. citizenship of voters, requiring voter IDs, limiting absentee ballots and prohibiting private funding of election officials and government agencies.
The new advocacy campaign will focus on Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin, and will include broadcast and digital outreach that emphasize “voter transparency.”
Heritage Action is also opposed to the “For the People Act,” a bill which expands voting rights and alters campaign finance laws — and supports the Save Democracy Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, both Republicans.
POLL DU JOUR
• 72% of U.S. adults are concerned that they or someone they know will be infected with COVID-19.
• 50% say loosening restrictions on public gatherings is happening “too quickly”; 26% say it’s happening “too slowly”; 24% say at “the right pace.”
• 33% say reopening businesses is happening too quickly; 33% say it’s happening too slowly; 34% say it’s happening at the right pace.
• 33% say reopening grade schools and high schools is happening too quickly; 34% say it’s happening too slowly; 33% say it’s happening at the right pace.
Source: An ABC News/IPSOS poll of 521 U.S. adults conducted March 5-6.
• Helpful information to jharper@WashingtonTimes.com.