With a handful of hours to go until the government’s funding runs out, Congress has been scrambling to beat the clock with another short-term funding band-aid that would postpone the fight until Christmas.
But this band-aid doesn’t stop the actual bleeding where Planned Parenthood is concerned — a source of serious contention for conservatives who have fought tooth and nail to take tangible and practical action against the abortion giant.
Hoping to avoid the messy clash that turned the lights off in 2011, Republican leadership pushed a “clean” (meaning no amendments) continuing resolution (CR) through the Senate earlier this morning by a vote of 78-20. But boiling just beneath the surface of those deceiving margins are dozens of outraged conservatives, who feel — as FRC does — that any government spending or must-pass piece of legislation should include a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.
“The American people aren’t interested in a show vote,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said. “They want to actually get it done.” The last-minute funding race, which has become the rule rather than the exception, only exacerbated the party’s tensions with pro-lifers, who feel the CR is the only way to force the President’s hand. In fact, it was these strong feelings on the leadership’s strategy that many believe cost Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) his job.
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On behalf of millions of Americans, FRC urged Congress to vote against any CR that doesn’t take into account the serious allegations against America’s largest abortion provider. And this afternoon, several Republicans did. (See how your congressman voted here.) Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to overcome the unanimous Democratic support (186-0). With more conservatives (151) voting against the CR than for it (91), the House is making it clear that the debate over Planned Parenthood funding is just beginning.
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