Pence Breaks Tie In Senate Planned Parenthood Funds Vote
- Author: Joey Payne Apr 03, 2017,
Apr 03, 2017, 2:56
The U.S. Congress voted 230-188 in February to overturn the HHS rule under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows the House to reverse agency regulations within 60 legislative days.
Georgia senator Johnny Isakson cast the vote that tied the yes and no votes.
The New York Times notes that the Obama-era measure protected Planned Parenthood, guaranteeing that individual states could not decide to strip funding from the organization. They have focused their ire mostly on Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that federal law now prohibits taxpayer funds from going toward financing abortions.
Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the USA, has been a target for conservatives across the country who have tried to cut off taxpayer funding - including the failed GOP health care legislation.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, the annual budget for family planning is about $13 million, $4 million of which is from federal funding.
Democrat Senator Patty Murray calls this cruel, saying "it would have [the] greatest impact on women and families who need it the most". "Reversal of this rule could make it easier for state politicians to block a woman's access to contraception and critical preventive care at women's health clinics across the country". Pence, the Senate's president, then emerged to break the 50-50 tie.
Under long-standing practice, no federal funds can be used for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the mother.
Do they even realize the devastating affect their personal vendetta against Planned Parenthood would have on lower and middle-income people, especially women?
Imagine if he had reversed his wording from a "major setback tonight for Planned Parenthood" to say a "major advancement tonight for the pro-life movement".
A final vote on the bill is expected later Thursday, when Pence's vote likely will be needed again.
Senate Republicans held a vote open for more than an hour to bring in Sen.
The bill will soon be sent to President Trump's desk, where he is all but guaranteed to sign it. Planned Parenthood also is the nation's largest abortion network - performing over a third of all abortions in the U.S. It receives more than half a billion dollars in federal funding each year.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it was the Obama administration's move that hurt "local communities".
It must be noted that Title X money can not be used to pay for abortions, so Republicans' efforts to withdraw this funding for family planning clinics that administer the procedure only take away resources for services like cancer screenings, birth control and STD testing, among others.
"This legislation does not prevent Planned Parenthood or any other entity from receiving Title X funds", Ernst said immediately after the vote.