Senate Democrats Have Enough Votes To Kill Planned Parenthood Defunding Bill
It now seems inevitable the the House GOP’s effort to cut off Federal funding for Planned Parenthood will die in the Senate:
Forty-one senators have pledged to filibuster any bipartisan spending bill that includes an amendment to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood, threatening an impasse with House conservatives.
The group, led by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), includes thirty-nine Democratic senators and two Independents, Sens. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
It’s just large enough to sustain a filibuster to block any spending bill that cuts Planned Parenthood funding from passing the upper chamber.
Congress is trying to reach an agreement on a spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. The current continuing resolution keeping the government operational runs through April 8.
The group outlined their opposition in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), asking Reid and McConnell to “stand with us against extreme proposals by some members of the House to eliminate support for women’s health and family planning programs and providers that service millions of women and families.”
H.R. 1, the package of spending cuts the House passed in February, would eliminate the Title X family planning program.
The lawmakers also said they would “oppose the provision in the House-passed continuing resolution that cuts Planned Parenthood health centers off from federal funds used to provide cancer screenings, birth control and other preventative health care services to three million Americans every year.”
“Without access to these services, many of these women will be unable to get preventive screenings, be at far greater risk for diseases such as cancer and will face more unintended pregnancies,” they wrote.
Several Republican senators have already voiced opposition to the House cuts.
Those Republicans would be Scott Brown and Lisa Murkowski, which brings the Democrats up to 43 votes. The Tea Party activists won’t like it, but it seems pretty clear that this particular defunding effort is going nowhere.