Orrin Hatch went off on far-right conservatives who would shut down the federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood, an approach he called “downright stupid”.
Unless a longer-term appropriations deal is reached, lawmakers and the president will find themselves in the same spot in December – and the federal debt limit must soon be addressed as well. “And working with Republicans we find it’s very hard to develop any kinds of partnerships as we’ve always done in the past until Republican leaders took over the Congress”. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that he is trying to hammer out a two-year budget deal (alongside Boehner before he leaves) with the White House.
A few argued that his resignation decreased the odds of a shutdown: The Ohio congressman had been under intense pressure from party members who threatened to give him the boot if he presented any legislation to fund the government without a provision to defund Planned Parenthood. His decision – and other House leadership races – have highlighted divisions between more pragmatic Republicans and a tea party wing that is increasingly dominant, especially in the rough-and-tumble House.
At a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) asked Richards: “If a child survives an abortion attempt, should it be given nourishment and medical care?”
Mr. McConnell said this week that he’s kicked off funding talks among himself, Mr. Boehner, top Democrats and President Obama, to negotiate spending parameters for the next two fiscal years. Many conservatives wanted to use the bill to defund Planned Parenthood after edited videos released by an anti-abortion group purportedly showed officials talking about the sale of fetal tissue.
“We don’t make any profit off federal money”, Richards responded, adding that “outrageous allegations” against Planned Parenthood were “offensive and categorically untrue”.
Eight of the 20 Republican senators who opposed Wednesday’s bill are up for re-election in states carried by Mitt Romney in 2012.
With a vote of 277-151, the House approved the legislation with just hours to spare before the midnight deadline.
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards was dragged before Congress Tuesday to testify about recent, entirely bogus, accusations that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal body parts. Timing for that vote was still uncertain but House Republican aides said they were aiming for an afternoon vote.
Republicans are seeking an increase in military funding, while Obama will press for similar hikes for domestic programs.
“That means within the coming weeks we will again be negotiating with Republicans to avoid another shutdown”, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.