Politics

House Defunds ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood, Senate Kills Both

The Republican House passed defunding Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare on Thursday, which were stand-alone votes attached to the Continuing Resolution (CR).  The Democrat Senate then killed both bills.

The final Continuing Resolution (CR), which funds the government through Sept. 30, was sent to President Obama to sign without the two conservative provisions.  Obama threatened to veto the CR—thereby shutting down the government—if the final legislation included defunding his health care law.

“If the President is presented with legislation that would eliminate funding or repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto it,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.

As part of the budget deal made late last Friday night by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R.-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), and President Obama, the Democrat Senate was required to debate and hold a vote on the two measures that block any federal funds from being used this year for Planned Parenthood or ObamaCare.

Although Boehner and fellow Republicans did not expect the two bills to get the 60-vote threshold for passage in the Democrat-controlled Senate, their goal was to get a roll call vote to show each Senator’s position on the issues.

While Obama agreed to including the mandatory votes in the final budget deal, he strongly opposed both measures.

“The administration strongly opposes any attempts to include language in the underlying bill that would deny funding for critical women’s health services or prohibit funding to implement the Affordable Care Act that is making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans,” the White House said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The CR funds the government for the remaining six months of the fiscal year and cuts spending by $39.9 billion.  The CR (HR 1473) passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 260 to 167, with 81 Democrats voting for it, while 59 Republicans voted against the Boehner/Obama/Reid deal.

The Senate then passed the CR by a vote of 81 to 19.  President Obama is expected to sign the bill by midnight Thursday to prevent a government shutdown.

The Planned Parenthood bill (H.Con.Res 36) prohibits any federal funds in the CR from being used for any purpose by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any of its affiliates.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 241 to 185, with 10 Democrats voting for defunding.  The seven pro-choice House Republicans who voted against the bill were Charlie Bass (N.H.), Judy Biggert (Ill.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Charlie Dent (Penn.), Robert Dold (Ill.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), and Richard Hanna (N.Y.).

The Planned Parenthood defunding failed to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate by a vote of 42 to 58.

The five pro-choice Republicans Senators who voted to keep federal fund going to Planned Parenthood were Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Olympia Snowe (Maine).

“I believe ending an innocent, unborn human life is morally wrong.  I also believe it’s morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use it to subsidize the largest abortion provider in America,” Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) said during debate.

Planned Parenthood performed more than 332,278 abortions in 2009, which is double the number it performed in 1998, according to National Right to Life’s Dr. David O’Steen. Also, O’Steen said, Planned Parenthood doubled the amount of revenue it received from government grants and contracts during that same period, from $165 million in 1998 to $363.3 million in 2009. 

“Not a dime of women’s health or family planning funding is reduced by this resolution.  We simply won’t ensure that federal funds are being in used in a way to protect the will of our constituents not to help subsidize Planned Parenthood,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt (R.-Ala.)

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R.-Va.) was asked on Tuesday whether the Republican House would try to defund Planned Parenthood in next year’s budget, which has to pass the House and Senate.

“We believe very strongly that government dollars shouldn’t be used to fund abortion.  I believe that is where the majority of the American people are,” said Cantor. “We will make sure that we continue in the spirit of the Hyde Amendment government-wide.”

Also, the House passed defunding President Obama’s health care law (H.Con.Res 35), with all the Republicans voting for it, and all but three Democrats voting against it.  The final vote to was 240 to 185.  The bill was blocked by the Democrat Senate by a straight party line vote of 47 to 53.

“We’re sitting right now on top of $23.6 billion that is being used intensively to implement ObamaCare.  All the while, while we expect, and the President surely must expect, the Supreme Court will rule it unconstitutional.  ObamaCare has been rejected by the American people.  It sent 87 Republican freshmen here to Congress to repeal it.  Every Republican in the House and in the Senate voted to repeal ObamaCare,” said Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) during floor debate.

The House already passed the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act in January, which goes further than defunding for one fiscal year.  Reid, however, said that he would never allow the House’s repeal bill to have a vote in the Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) spent two weeks demanding that the Senate vote on the House-passed repeal.  Finally, on the day after a Florida court ruled the health care law unconstitutional, McConnell forced Reid to hold the vote.  The  vote failed by a vote of 47 to 51, but left many Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2012 in vulnerable positions defending the unpopular health care law.

In addition to the Senate vote, the budget deal for the CR requires numerous studies to illuminate the true cost and impact of the President’s health care law on Americans.  The studies include determining the increased cost of health care premiums as a result of ObamaCare mandates and a full audit of all the waivers that the Obama administration has given to corporations, organizations, and unions.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) assumed the full repeal of ObamaCare in his budget for Fiscal Year 2012.  Eliminating the President’s health care law, Ryan predicts, would save $1.4 trillion over 10 years and prevent approximately $800 billion in tax increases.  The Ryan budget will be voted on in the House on Friday.

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  • RepublicansHateTheTruth

    Republicans once again demonstrated their unwavering moral committment to protecting the lives of the unborn by deliberately separating out the anti-abortion bill from the Continuing Resolution. By doing that, they guaranteed the bill would be killed in the Senate.

    Signed,

    The Truth

  • David Werling

    Bottom line, though, it’s the Democrats that will stop at nothing to protect abortion.

  • terry1956

    Emily, thats because the speaker and the house majority got the vote back akwards.
    The House defunds by refusing to vote for any funding bill unless those things listed by the house is defunded such as the vietnam war, obamacare, planned parenthood, the department of education, the un, nafta, the wto, the banking/ fake currency system support, etc etc etc.

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    (Recent grammar edit made.)

    None of those five ran on a particularly pro-choice platform, however. Do note that 4 of the 5 are from states that typically vote Democrat in Presidential elections (the other is Lisa Murkowski), and 3 of the 5 come from heavily pro-choice states (don’t count Murkowski and Mark Kirk).

    Don’t say that you were not surprised.

    As for a defunding of Planned Parenthood—without defunding Title X—that will probably take 60 in the Senate, and as we saw here, Republicans will probably have to have 65. It would be much easier to just discontinue Title X altogether, but nooooooooooooooooo!

    (A defunding of Planned Parenthood would probably pass muster because of Rust v. Sullivan; the issue is the votes for it to overcome a filibuster—and I can never support the nuclear option to kill the filibuster.)

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    Oregon actually is pretty conservative—except around the city of Portland. Granted, I do not know where OregonPerspective is from in the state.

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    You may be missing the point though—defunding Title X altogether—which would cut off funds for Planned Parenthood and all other family planning organizations—is one thing. It is quite another thing to stop Title X funds from going to Planned Parenthood (it’s Constitutional under the idea of “government speech” as per Rust v. Sullivan) while keeping Title X intact–and that’s giving ammunition to the Dems.

    Do note that difference. The only way that Congress can defund Planned Parenthood is to defund Title X. Obamacare can be defunded much more easily, since it’s a direct government program. Keeping a program and trying to select eligible participants is much harder.

  • terry1956

    NO because murdering 200,000 babies a year instead of 1 million a year is clearly not a damn thing a society should be proud of.
    So neither the American poltical class majority nor the Dutch poltical class majority cares a damn thing about a civilized society and justice when they accept such holocaust numbers of mass murder.

  • terry1956

    LOL, he got a roll call vote in the senate,
    Oh man!
    And he thinks the American people will buy that?
    Hey the Speaker should do lotto radio ads when the voters turn him out of office.

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    On Planned Parenthood though, that really is the best anyone could have done, short of ending Title X (which I probably would have done). For FY 2012, Obamacare can be defunded much more easily. Planned Parenthood though will be impossible short of ending Title X, as that would require 60 in the Senate.

    Defunding Obamacare for FY 2012 and beyond – much easier; just write the bill allocating zero dollars for the program.

  • terry1956

    WEll since Title X is not in the US Constitiution and thats my federal legal document I never read much of anything if any about it but if its illegal then of course it should be defunded.
    Of course either way the federal government is acting illegally if it funds a group who’s has one of its major stock and trade in murdering human babies thus violating the common law of all the states including LA. and OR, thus either way the House not only has the authority to defund planned parenthood it has a duty to defund it.

  • chrism12743

    I wonder if these politicians, on both sides, realize the anger that is building among hard working Americans? Granted, thanks to bailouts, stimuli of various types, and brazilian oil contracts, the American worker is not given the opportunity to make a living. All of these maladies are brought to you by BOTH parties, I sincerely hope that the Tea Party solidifies and replaces these pariah before they can permanently damage our country!
    I just love how the Repubs held the line on the stop gap measure, they saved 38 billion, when in reality it turns out to be less than 1/2 a billion! Talk about smoke and mirrors! God help them when enough Americans finally realize how badly they have been hoodwinked!

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    Yeah, but when many on the right realize that defunding Title X will deprive pro-life groups of funding, how well will that go over with the conservative base?

    Defunding a direct government program like Obamacare is much easier—just allocate no additional funds when the existing funds run dry.

    It’s all politics. I’m not disagreeing with you though.

  • terry1956

    The House has not had the fillbuster for well over 100 years thus a simple majority can defund planned parenthood by refusing to vote to give the federal government any addition funds unless planned parenthood and other things on its list is not included in the spending bill.

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    But the Senate does. (For those wondering, the House eliminated the filibuster in 1890, if memory doesn’t fail me.) I see it as necessary in the Senate because 51 percent of the chamber does not represent 51 percent of the population, unlike the House.

    But Planned Parenthood works by getting its funds from Title X. Title X is the government program that can be defunded; however, it would also deprive pro-life organizations of those same funds. Naming a group that would be ineligible for receipt of funds in a program, instead of killing the program straight up—as you suggested and to which I offered no disagreement—is harder as that is often a rider that has to name a group.

    The Democrats would love to see Title X end if the resulting tide takes out pro-life groups that also receive funding from the same program.

  • Culture_Warrior

    The defunding would not have been defeated in the Senate without Repub support.

    Thanks

  • dapcat

    Ditto. The only person really hammering away at the weak Republican leadership is Mark Levine. If Boehner and his band of weak sisters doesn’t grow some balls and take the fight to this very weak and vulnerable president real soon he/they will be out of power and then he will really have something to cry about.