VP Mike Pence breaks tie on Planned Parenthood funding

Miranda GreerApr 03, 2017

Republican legislation letting states deny federal family planning money to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers squeezed narrowly through the Senate on Thursday, rescued by an ailing GOP senator who returned to the Capitol after back surgery and a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.

The bill will dismiss a rule put in place under Obama that prohibited states from blocking the use of federal funds for organizations that provide abortions.

"Republicans didn't listen to us", said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the senior Democrat on the health committee.

Their votes were needed because two Republicans - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski, who are each supporters of Planned Parenthood - voted against it. Republicans have a 52-48 majority and all Democrats voted no.

Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, for years have sought to defund Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortion.

This tie-breaking vote will allow the Senate to cast a vote later in the day that would actually repeal Obama's rule protecting Planned Parenthood, potentially allowing for states to restrict funding to Planned Parenthood.

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.

Women's marches across the country have protested cuts to reproductive health care services.

Pence's vote was needed for the Senate to agree to bring the resolution to the floor. The funds, though, already can not go to abortion services, Democrats said.

Naturally, Planned Parenthood ridiculed the bill, saying it could encourage states to discriminate against family planning healthcare providers that also offer abortions.

What this doesn't deal with, however, is the flow of federal funds to Planned Parenthood.

"This regulation is an unnecessary restriction on states that know their residents' own needs best", said Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Thursday's vote was Pence's second tiebreaker of his young term.

But I am sad to say I realize these measures will only go so far.

The Title X grant of the Public Health Service Act is the only federal program focused exclusively on providing family planning. "Today's vote makes it clear Congress also has the votes to send to President Trump a reconciliation bill that defunds Planned Parenthood of more than $400 million in taxpayer funding and instead funds community health centers", she wrote. "If that happens, that's like 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's budget, they are just going to be closing down clinics dozens of them".

Related Articles:

« Previous article
Next article »

Popular Pages

Real Madrid maintain lead at top
His save against Faycal Fajr came just before Ezequiel Garay scored Valencia's first goal. We played a very good first half but in the second one we lost the ball easily.

Mayor Bill de Blasio vows to close Rikers Island jail facility
Martin, president of JustLeadershipUSA and who himself had been held at Rikers Island told the Village Voice a year ago . De Blasio's announcement was welcomed by Seymour James, chief attorney of the Legal Aid Society.

US stock indexes mixed in afternoon trading; oil rebounds
One of the best quarterly performances in the region came from the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index, which finished up 9.6%. USA stocks pushed higher as the latest United States economic data showed the economy started 2017 at a strong lick.

Hong Kong chooses new Beijing-backed leader amid political tension
Speaking outside the police station Monday night, Chan said the prosecutions would not deter the fight for democracy. Tsang, in contrast, is popular because of his easygoing persona and use of social media.

Arsenal Supporters Trust survey shows 78 percent want Arsene Wenger to go
Guardiola, however, says those fans calling for his head will change their tune when Arsenal's form improves. The game at the Emirates looks set to be crucial in determining City's top-four hopes.

Derrick Rose to have knee surgery again, miss rest of season
Rose said at the time that he didn't believe that the injury was anything serious that would need to be surgically repaired. He has been mostly healthy during his lone season with the Knicks, averaging 18 points and 4.4 assists over 64 games.

Merkel's conservatives win Saarland vote in boost for national campaign
The left-leaning Greens dropped out of the state legislature, falling short of the 5 percent needed to keep their seats. He said: "We have picked up support in the last few weeks, in Saarland too, and we are looking ahead".

WTA MIAMI FINAL PREVIEW; two women, one throne
Pliskova, who began the year with a title at Brisbane, was philosophical about her second semi-final loss of the month. Just a year younger than her vastly more experienced opponent, it really was a battle of wills in the first set.

Hope For Commuters As Some Dublin Bus Services Return To Action
Bus Éireann workers in Athlone say they are determined to continue their strike action for as long as necessary. NBRU union member Mel Keating has thanked the public for their ongoing support.

Severe weather possible late Thursday in East Tennessee
For one, the weather service measured a lot of wind shear, meaning gusts were changing speed and direction with height, he said. Isolated tornadoes, large hail and winds up to 70 miles per hour are possible in western and northern Arkansas.