Ernst bill on Planned Parenthood fails

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Ernst bill on Planned Parenthood fails

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A proposal pushed by Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, to defund Planned Parenthood failed to pass the U.S. Senate on Monday.
The bill would have stripped more than $500 million in funding from the organization that provides reproductive and maternal and child health services, including abortions, to women across the country.
The legislation failed to pass on a 53-46 vote. While a majority of senators supported the measure, procedural rules used in the Senate effectively require 60 votes for almost any legislation to pass.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, voted for the bill, as did the rest of Republicans in the Senate except Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V.,  broke rank with their party and supported the bill.
The current debate was spurred by the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the reimbursement fetal tissue in stark tones.
After Monday’s vote, Ernst continued to push the debate on the videos.
“The footage depicting Planned Parenthood employees discussing in gruesome detail the organization’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies is morally reprehensible and raises a number of questions that taxpayers deserve answers to,” Ernst said in a statement.
Beyond Kirk’s opposition, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., missed the vote, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., technically voted against the legislation. McConnell had to vote against the bill if he wanted to bring it up for future debate.
The fight over funding is far from Ernst’s first time in the Washington spotlight.
Republican leaders previously tapped her to give the party’s official response to President Obama’s State of the Union address and also presided over the debate surrounding the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Members of the House are on their August recess while the Senate finishes up its business.
But despite the setback of losing the vote, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and others are promising a showdown over Planned Parenthood funding this fall. Cruz has not ruled out the possibility of tying the organization’s funding to must-pass bills need to keep the government open. Cruz, now a presidential candidate, used a similar strategy to attempt to defund Obamacare in 2013 — the debate led to a 16-day government shutdown.
— by Brent Griffiths

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