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Senate Republicans Introduce Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood, Plan Vote Next Week‏

July 30th, 2015 by mopns · No Comments

The Hill reports, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is fast-tracking a bill to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, after senators huddled in his office Tuesday to work out the details of a bill.

“Speaking on the Senate floor, the Republican leader started the process, known as Rule 14, which allows the bill to skip over being sent to a committee and go directly to the Senate floor for a vote. ‘The horrendous videos of senior executives from Planned Parenthood discussing in callous tones and shocking detail their role in a national scandal requires a congressional response,’ the Republican leader said in a statement. ‘This legislation would ensure taxpayer dollars for women’s health are actually spent on women’s health — not a scandal-plagued political lobbying giant.’

“McConnell is expected to finish the fast-track process Wednesday. . . . The Republican leader told reporters earlier Tuesday that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) would be leading a working group of senators, which also included Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), to come up with a new bill. The group huddled in McConnell’s office Tuesday afternoon.”

Earlier this afternoon, Leader McConnell joined Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Lankford (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) at a press conference to introduce the legislation, S. 1881.

All are cosponsors of the bill, as are Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John McCain (R-AZ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Ben Sasse (R-NE).

At the press conference, Leader McConnell said, “By now we’ve all seen those Planned Parenthood videos that absolutely shock the conscience. I want to thank Senator Joni Ernst, Senator Rand Paul, Senator James Lankford, and others you see behind me for leading the effort to put together legislation we’ll vote on next week to address the issue.

“But before I turn it over to Senator Ernst, I want to make the point that I’m sure others will make repeatedly, this bill would ensure tax payer dollars for women’s health are spent on women’s health. This will ensure tax payer dollars that are supposed to be spent on women’s health are in fact spent on women’s health. It would ensure we’re funding that and not subsidizing some scandal-plagued organization.”

Sen. Ernst said, “The recent footage depicting Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of organs . . . of unborn babies is morally reprehensible and vile. The American people—Republicans and Democrats alike—are horrified by the utter lack of compassion shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies. In fact, now, Hillary Clinton is calling is calling these Planned Parenthood images, ‘disturbing,’ and I agree.”

And several Democrat senators have also said they find the videos troubling, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN).

Politico adds, “The Senate GOP bill would strip the roughly $540 million in funding that Planned Parenthood is scheduled to receive and steer it toward other women’s health programs, a bid to undermine Democratic complaints about the measure. ‘Funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be offered to other eligible entities to provide such women’s health care services,’ said a statement from Senate Republicans on the new legislation.”

And the AP notes, “The Senate will vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood, GOP leaders said Tuesday, as anti-abortion groups clamored for action by lawmakers. . . .

“The positioning came as an anti-abortion group released a third covertly recorded video of Planned Parenthood officials discussing procedures for obtaining tissue from aborted fetuses for research and showing stark close-ups of what it said was fetal tissue in a Planned Parenthood lab.”

As Sen. Tim Scott said, “To me, this is not a political issue, it is not a partisan issue, it’s not even if whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice. This is an issue about our humanity. . . . Without any question, I think the right thing for us to do is to defund Planned Parenthood and to make sure that we see that every single dollar goes to provide women’s health services.”

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