Senate Democrats thwarted a Republican effort to ban late-term abortions on Tuesday as GOP leaders strained to avoid a government shutdown in eight days over the dispute – all against a tangled backdrop of presidential politics.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed a motion to advance funding that would keep the federal government open until December 11 and redirect money from Planned Parenthood to community health centers. Both Thune and Rounds said they would vote to approve the bill.
Republicans then will have to figure out what to do to keep money flowing to federal departments when their funding expires on September 30.
Republican leaders of the House and Senate have said they won’t shut the government down over Planned Parenthood. Black sponsored a standalone bill in the House that would defund Planned Parenthood for a year without affecting the government’s ability to operate.
“The vote is merely symbolic”, Ramirez said. He scheduled a private meeting for House Republicans on Friday to discuss strategy. Supporters of Planned Parenthood counter that the videos are edited deceptively and that reimbursement for handling and shipping the tissue is standard in the medical field.
We’re told another option would be to enact a continuing resolution, which would model a similar budget to the previous year but it would not be a permanent solution. Cruz dubbed McConnell’s strategy “surrender” and called the Thursday vote a designed-to-fail “show vote”, arguing Republicans can win on the Planned Parenthood gambit if they stand together and blame President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats for the looming shutdown.
Ohio Rep. Margaret Conditt, R-Liberty Twp., and Bill Patmon, D-Cleveland, announced sponsorship for legislation to strip Planned Parenthood of funding earlier this year.
At last week’s GOP debate, Carly Fiorina voiced a largely inaccurate version of some Planned Parenthood videos circulating on the Internet regarding prices for tissue from aborted fetuses. It would provide an extra $700 million for fighting wildfires, more than the White House request of $450 million.
Sen. Rand Paul says it’s time to put the Democratic Party on the defensive when it comes to the fight over abortion and defunding Planned Parenthood. He says it would have a ripple effect with all levels of federal workers being affected, eventually seeing delays in getting paid. “Because it will give people the opportunity to vote to defund Planned Parenthood if they want to”, said Sen.
Fitch, one of the three leading credit rating companies, said the October 2013 partial government shutdown didn’t trigger a change in the US rating.
A spokesperson for Republican House Speaker John Boehner declined to comment on the letter.
Not all Republicans agree with that approach.
The federal government is now running up against a deadline to reauthorize appropriations for the multitude of discretionary spending programs, and pro-life conservatives are looking to the ultimatum as a way to force a vote defunding the clinics.