Restrictive bill targeting Planned Parenthood passes, without help from Alaska senator

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03 April, 2017

US Republican lawmakers on Thursday successfully rolled back Obama-era rules protecting funding to clinics that offer abortion services, as Vice President Mike Pence broke a Senate tie on the contentious measure. Even though no federal funds go toward abortions, Republican conservatives still want to de-fund the entire organization.

With Pence's vote, it is now up to President Trump to sign the legislation. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted with the Democrats to uphold the rule, leaving a tie.

That federal family planning funding helps more than 10,000 individuals in Washington state, according to a spokesperson with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.

Washington Democrat Patty Murray said that she assumed Republicans would put riders to remove Planned Parenthood funding in the spending bill that is in the works. Obama administration officials said it was necessary because thirteen states had tried, since 2011, to limit federal grants to family planning organizations.

"Senate GOP thinks so little of women, they didn't bother to hold a debate before voting to restrict access to OUR health care".

Pence, as president of the Senate, was called in to cast the decisive vote.

One of the main reasons for this latest Title X development is so that Republicans can completely reassure their constituents that taxpayer money isn't going towards funding abortions.

Patients with private healthcare providers would still be able to use Planned Parenthood, but Medicaid patients - the neediest people - will be unable to access affordable sexual healthcare in states that choose to defund it.

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Almost 88,000 individuals in Washington receive services from Planned Parenthood under Medicaid funding, according to the group.

Both Isakson and Pence are went back on the floor later Thursday afternoon when the CRA gets a vote on final passage and their votes will be needed again.

The Senate voted 50-49 to wash out regulations that allowed states to establish retirement accounts for low-income workers. Sen.

Under long-standing practice, no federal funds can be used for abortions, but federal family planning money can flow to the clinics to provide other healthcare services.

Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was necessary to preserve local rule.

The vast majority of votes for the legislation were from men, who make up 80 percent of the 115th Congress.

Under the Constitution, the vice president casts a congressional vote when there's a tie. Besides erasing much of Obama's 2010 health-care law, the failed House bill would have blocked federal funds for Planned Parenthood for a year.

"This legislation does not prevent Planned Parenthood or any other entity from receiving Title X funds", Ernst said immediately after the vote.


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