Senate Won't Defund Planned Parenthood

McConnell then moves to ward off government shutdown
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2015 6:35 PM CDT
The failure of a Senate bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and temporarily staved off a government shutdown is seen as a defeat for Sen. Ted Cruz.   (Michael Zamora/The Des Moines Register via AP)

(Newser) – A short-term spending bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood while staving off a government shutdown for another few months came far short of passing the Senate today, with both Democrats and eight Republicans voting against it, the Hill reports. According to Politico, the vote was a big defeat for presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who is leading the push to defund the healthcare provider. Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately filed a new short-term spending bill that includes Planned Parenthood funding, the Hill reports. That bill should pass the Senate early next week, then it's up to the House to agree to the plan and prevent a government shutdown Oct. 1.

Cruz is unhappy with the new bill, calling it "surrender," and believes Republicans can succeed in defunding Planned Parenthood if they band together and blame Obama for the looming shutdown, Politico reports. Obama has said he will veto any spending bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. "I believe that Republicans should act like Republicans," Cruz said after today's vote. "[Voters] are interested in Republican majorities of Congress actually standing up and defending the principles we promised we would defend when we were elected." With a week remaining until government workers are furloughed, Democrats and some Republicans are calling the focus on Planned Parenthood a waste of time, according to the Hill. “Republicans should abandon their commitment to fruitless votes and pass a clean funding bill," Minority Leader Harry Reid says. (Read more Planned Parenthood stories.)

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