Political Editors / August 24, 2018

Two Republicans Save Planned Parenthood Funding

Senate rejects Rand Paul’s amendment defunding abortion providers in the appropriations bill.

On Thursday, the Senate passed the latest appropriations bill, which included continued funding for that abortion mill dubiously named Planned Parenthood. That was after the Senate voted against adding an amendment presented by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have ended the practice of taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Paul blasted Senate leadership for failing to follow through on one of the biggest Republican promises. “Planned Parenthood ends the lives of 320,000 babies each year,” he said. “That’s about 900 babies every day. Planned Parenthood receives over $400 million of taxpayer money. The government, with a wink and a nod, tells us that Planned Parenthood doesn’t spend the money on abortion, but everybody knows that the taxpayer is really cross-subsidizing Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills.”

Following Paul’s rebuke, Senate leadership relented and put the amendment up for a vote, which went down in defeat 45-48 as two Republicans, Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) sided with Democrats. Apparently seeing the writing on the wall, four Republicans and three Democrats did not vote. To be fair, had the amendment passed it would have most certainly triggered a Democrat filibuster, and with the Republicans lacking the votes for cloture, it would have derailed the appropriations bill. After Paul’s amendment was defeated, the bill was then voted upon and passed with an 85-7 vote.

Frustratingly, as The Resurgent’s David Thornton noted, “If Republicans really wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, it would be necessary to insert the measure in a budget reconciliation bill that cannot be filibustered. Even then, if Republican leaders cannot pressure Collins and Murkowski to stick with their GOP colleagues, the two rogue senators would be enough to defeat the measure since Democrats always vote in a bloc to protect the abortionists.” And following the midterms, Republicans may lose control of the House or Senate or both and will have missed yet another opportunity to come through on a long-running political promise.

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