Senate vote to defund Planned Parenthood scheduled for Thursday

posted at 12:55 pm on April 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Two days from now, the Speaker of the House will do something rather historic — set the agenda of the Senate.  Harry Reid has scheduled one of two floor votes required by John Boehner in the budget agreement for Thursday, the standalone effort to bar federal funds from going to ObamaCare:

The next step in the battle to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business came when pro-life House Speaker John Boehner forced pro-abortion Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to do something he swore he wouldn’t do: allow a vote. The Senate will vote on Thursday.

House Republicans have already approved the Pence Amendment to yank tens of millions of dollars from the abortion business that it receives under Title X. Now, it’s the Senate’s turn and pro-life groups like Americans United for Life are urging senators to vote for de-funding.

“This is the vote that Washington, DC insiders said we’d never get, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid swore he would never allow,” AUL said.

It’s not the first time that an effort to defund Planned Parenthood has come to the Senate floor.  Louisiana’s David Vitter tried in 2007 to strip funding to the nation’s largest abortion provider, but lost on a 41-52 vote.  In that cycle, no Democrat supported the measure, not even the supposedly pro-life Ben Nelson of Nebraska nor Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

However, the ground has shifted on this debate in at least two important ways.  First, the federal deficit has skyrocketed since FY2007, the final Republican budget, which had a shortfall of $161 billion.  Voters are much more engaged on budgets and deficits than they were in 2007, shortly after they elected Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress that pushed the next year’s deficit to over $440 billion.  Thanks to last year’s ObamaCare vote, Democrats in the Senate are already on shaky ground, especially Ben Nelson and possibly Bob Casey as well, and others.  The vote will force these red-state and purple-state Democrats to explain why, with a budget deficit of $1.6 trillion, the federal government should fund the abortion leader for any purpose, even if one can argue that the federal funds are somehow hermetically sealed away from the abortion process.

We can expect more of the weird “Republicans are Nazi woman-killers” rhetoric to come out of this debate, but the votes here will sting, especially for Democrats who style themselves as pro-life while using taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortion mills.  Voters who want an end to the taxpayer gravy train for abortionists should make sure they contact their Senators in the next 48 hours to explain this.


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No matter how the vote comes out…props to Boehner, he is making it living hell for the dems.

right2bright on April 12, 2011 at 12:58 PM

I’m more interested in the ObamaCare vote. It’s like a bear trap for red state Dems.

BadgerHawk on April 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I fear it will die anyway, but at least they will be on record…

Ltlgeneral64 on April 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I didn’t think much of this when it was announced. But now it’s looking like pure genius on Boehner’s part.

ButterflyDragon on April 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Tricks and chicanry…par for the course for the narcissist in chief.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

The Repubs need to make the link between PP & abortion funds. At this time, the public hears only that “abortions are a small part of the services provided by PP” & “we already have a law that doesn’t allow funds provided to PP to go to abortions” (the cardboard firewall).

mdenis39 on April 12, 2011 at 1:02 PM

My gut is telling me it just may pass this time.

Too many people are now paying attention.

Knucklehead on April 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I bet the Democrats – all of them – vote for upholding funding.

catmman on April 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Voters who want an end to the taxpayer gravy train for abortionists should make sure they contact their Senators in the next 48 hours to explain this.

This is important. These people need to get up, search their conscience (if they have one) and defend this heinous practice. Our senators who seek to defund this had better take ample opportunity to put forth the numbers of abortions, races involved, circumstances, outcomes, morality, relative population comparisons, ultrasound evidence and so on as a means to weigh the evidence against this practice against the people who seek to spin this into a women’s health issue.

ted c on April 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Junior Casey is up in 2012.

It will be interesting to see what the son of Bob Casey Sr, does. Senior was not allowed to give a pro-life speech at a Dem convention.

Wethal on April 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I agree with Brit Hume who more or less said Boehner knew defunding PP and PBS were hot-button riders that the Dems could rally around to save face during the budget cuts.

John the Libertarian on April 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

…but at least they will be on record…

Ltlgeneral64 on April 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM

That’s the point. These bigots will have to explain why they support killing unborn black children.

CurtZHP on April 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

See Stupak for the ultimate hypocrite.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

I think it helps Boehner to keep the debate over PP on a ‘we can’t afford to be giving money to a group that doesn’t need it’ level.

The Dems have absolutely no counter for the fiscal issues right now – they’re strictly playing defense.

BadgerHawk on April 12, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Looks like I picked the wrong week to throw away all of my “Republicans want to kill women!” signs…

Seven Percent Solution on April 12, 2011 at 1:07 PM

What part of Senate vote do you not understand?

PP is just another D’rat funding source.

Caststeel on April 12, 2011 at 1:08 PM

John the Libertarian on April 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Learning that they were willing to shut the government down over PP funding will be incredibly useful going forward.

Boehner can attach that to all sorts of stuff as a way of driving the final product to the right.

BadgerHawk on April 12, 2011 at 1:09 PM

That’s the point. These bigots will have to explain why they support killing unborn black children.

CurtZHP on April 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

So what?

They’ve sidestepped, ignored and lied about it for almost forty years and they have been on record with support for abortion that whole time.

Why wouldn’t they just keep saying what they always have?

catmman on April 12, 2011 at 1:09 PM

The vote will force these red-state and purple-state Democrats to explain why, with a budget deficit of $1.6 trillion, the federal government should fund the abortion leader for any purpose, even if one can argue that the federal funds are somehow hermetically sealed away from the abortion process.

Most importantly, the vote will be on the record, and every Senator up for re-election will have to defend/and or promote their stand on abortion. Boehner deserves credit for putting red-state and even purple state candidates on the record.

Rovin on April 12, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Hmmm…why do I suspect a Harry Reid doublecross coming on?

Carl on April 12, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Tricks and chicanery…par for the course for the narcissist in chief.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

You’re reading that too, huh. Looks to me like we got snookered.

petefrt on April 12, 2011 at 1:11 PM

the rhetoric should be classic….

cmsinaz on April 12, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Boehner can attach that to all sorts of stuff as a way of driving the final product to the right.

BadgerHawk on April 12, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Exactly. Or a bill to end affirmative action. Or allow school vouchers. Those also get the Dems all wee-wee’d up.

John the Libertarian on April 12, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Carl on April 12, 2011 at 1:10 PM

if he does, the 2011 budget deal may go kaput…but that would be nothing new…he never brought up the other bills that passed the house earlier this year….

cmsinaz on April 12, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Poor Harry. He liked it so much better when Nancy held the gavel and never objected to any kind of spending. He actually has to do a little work nowadays.

scalleywag on April 12, 2011 at 1:14 PM

I hope they realize that those men gathered in Philadelphia all those years ago to insure that women could kill their unborn babies and that men could marry other men. If they had another purpose, I’ve never heard of it.

/

mankai on April 12, 2011 at 1:15 PM

I will believe the vote in the US Senate when I see the vote…

My Senators are Feinstein and Boxer, so all my call and bloviating would be worthless…

Khun Joe on April 12, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I sincerely hope that the 2012 political ads in Democrat districts are absolutely scathing, complete with undercover video, PP profit margin, and a record of campaign kickbacks.

Murf76 on April 12, 2011 at 1:18 PM

There are going to be a whole bunch of rear ends squirming in their seats in the Senate Chambers on Thursday. Should be fun.

kingsjester on April 12, 2011 at 1:18 PM

On the record, very necessary for 2012

IowaWoman on April 12, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Expect the Senate Insane Clown Posse crowd (Schumer, Slaughter, Boxer, et.all) to break out the well worn, time-honored “Republicans want to send women back to the back alleys!” battlecry within the 24 hours, just around the time the lunatic ward at MSNBC starts foaming at the mouth proclaiming the Republicans are attacking women’s right to choose, and NOW threatens boycotts on everyone under the sun who doesn’t agree with them, on and on and on.

In other words, the usual.

pilamaye on April 12, 2011 at 1:19 PM

In other words, the usual.

pilamaye on April 12, 2011 at 1:19 PM

tru dat…

cmsinaz on April 12, 2011 at 1:21 PM

I bet the Democrats – all of them – vote for upholding funding.
catmman on April 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

The likely scenario, although considering some of the GOP will probably vote to uphold funding (Brown, the Maine Twins), I could see one or two vulnerable red/purple state Dems feeling like they could “safely” vote to strip it.

Vyce on April 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM

I will faint if this passes, but politically, this is a smart move to get them on record going into the next elections.

di butler on April 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM

It may not pass now, but it could definitely pass with the debt ceiling negotiations. That’s where we should be going for all the marbles.

Iblis on April 12, 2011 at 1:25 PM

The Democrats have been on the record and defended their position for almost forty years.

Why would they squirm now?

catmman on April 12, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Testing.

John the Libertarian on April 12, 2011 at 1:26 PM

“Republicans are Nazi woman-killers”

The democrats will use inane political hyperbole to demonize the opposition??

That’s inconceivable.

locomotivebreath1901 on April 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM

I think it helps Boehner to keep the debate over PP on a ‘we can’t afford to be giving money to a group that doesn’t need it’ level.

The Dems have absolutely no counter for the fiscal issues right now – they’re strictly playing defense.

BadgerHawk on April 12, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Yes and point out how much they spend on lobbying those Dems who vote for their funding.

cartooner on April 12, 2011 at 1:28 PM

They wouldn’t vote unless they had the votes to “save womens lives”………oh Precious Progressive Democrats.

PappyD61 on April 12, 2011 at 1:28 PM

(Brown, the Maine Twins), Vyce on April 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM

cripe forgot about those 3….yeah it’ll fail for sure…
dang it…

cmsinaz on April 12, 2011 at 1:28 PM

The founding fathers gave us a government with checks and balances for precisely the circumstances we now find ourselves in. If Boehner doesn’t fulfill his Constitutional duty to turn our nation away from the cliff, he should consider what his historical legacy will be.

FloatingRock on April 12, 2011 at 1:30 PM

sell them some rope.

ted c on April 12, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Yeah, this is being put up right next to SR 1340: The Flying Swine Act

The Mega Independent on April 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM

See Stupak for the ultimate hypocrite.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

The good people from MI-01 retired Stupak in November just on this one issue, AND because then he also voted FOR Obamacare.

He was replaced by a tea partier who is a medical doctor.

karenhasfreedom on April 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Even if a couple of “pro life” Dems were to vote for it, the Maine Twins and Scotty Brown will make sure the vote fails.

angryed on April 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM

What part of Senate vote do you not understand?

PP is just another D’rat funding source.

Caststeel on April 12, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Excellent point. What amount does PP contribute to the Democratic party and Democratic candidates?

PP is a house of worship for secular liberals. If religious organizations can’t contribute without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status, the same should apply to Dems.

BuckeyeSam on April 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Planned Parenthood, the agency for supporting the work of Pimps and underage hookers everywhere.

Surely Reid has seen the videos. One can only conclude if he defends PP after all that he must have lost his remaining gray cell.

dogsoldier on April 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM

The good people from MI-01 retired Stupak in November just on this one issue, AND because then he also voted FOR Obamacare.

He was replaced by a tea partier who is a medical doctor.

karenhasfreedom on April 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM

He’s now a lobbyist for abortions.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM

cripe forgot about those 3….yeah it’ll fail for sure…
dang it…
cmsinaz on April 12, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Well of course it will fail. Did anyone here think otherwise? The interesting thing will be to see how the vulnerable Dems vote. If Nelson votes for the funding, all the better – more ammo to use against him.

Vyce on April 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM

He’s now a lobbyist for abortions.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Seriously?

karenhasfreedom on April 12, 2011 at 1:37 PM

I called Ben Nelson’ office. They said he would be hiding under his bed till after the vote was taken.

a capella on April 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM

I wish those females who vote against defunding would get all their health care through PP since apparently they do so much more than abortions (sarc) and they can give up their current health care…

cmsinaz on April 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Vyce on April 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM

i just wish mcconnell can rein in those 3 along with lisa lisa …

cmsinaz on April 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM

So is the over/under for this vote going to break along party lines or is the over rats +3? I know, I know, but gas prices in Crook County is sky rocketing and I need some scratch to make a fast exit.

MayorDaley on April 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM

karenhasfreedom on April 12, 2011 at 1:37 PM

http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2011/04/11/bart-stupak-cashes-in.aspx

Yes.

mwdiver on April 12, 2011 at 1:51 PM

I bet the Democrats – all of them – vote for upholding funding.

catmman on April 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Maybe. but I’ll bet the GOP – some of them – vote for upholding it, making it a truly “Bi-partisan” no to defunding.

I’ll also bet that it won’t come back to bite me /crr6

AH_C on April 12, 2011 at 1:52 PM

<blockquote>[B]ut the votes here will sting, especially for Democrats who style themselves as pro-life while using taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortion mills. Voters who want an end to the taxpayer gravy train for abortionists should make sure they contact their Senators in the next 48 hours to explain this.

No, they won’t. You’re intimating the democrats have any couth or sense of hypocrisy. I’ll be shocked if they don’t hand out clothes hangers as props.

SouthernGent on April 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

The likely scenario, although considering some of the GOP will probably vote to uphold funding (Brown, the Maine Twins), I could see one or two vulnerable red/purple state Dems feeling like they could “safely” vote to strip it.

Vyce on April 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Will get my call in to Scotty today. Think I should bother with Heinz-Kerry? Nah, me neither.

SittingDeadRed on April 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Do you think Franken and/or Klobuchar would change their minds? No, me neither.

Mirimichi on April 12, 2011 at 2:01 PM

This and the Obamacare vote was and will be worth its weight in gold. I read with interest and some amusement how people think that Boehner got reamed in the budget agreement, but it is just a small issue.

*THIS* will be the gift that keeps on giving if it’s worked properly. The GOP candidates and those that want to primary will be able to quite rightly say that these are the people that voted to kill babies over paying the military that is involved in three wars. You don’t think that going to be PRICELESS in 2012??

Plus, anyone who votes for Obamacare can look forward to that stink never leaving their shoes no matter where they go.

It is unfathomable that this was agreed upon. Worked properly it is a noose that some senators will never escape.

For all you people who complain about Boehner “giving in”, this is for the future and may quite possibly gain the Senate and WH in 2012.

I love this site and most of the people here are smart folks, but sometimes people get too wrapped up in the little things and forget to see the big picture and this may be a BIGBIGBIG step towards getting both the senate and WH back and if so Boehner deserves nothing but gratitude, not knee jerk hate.

Of course, it requires people to have an attention span and not worship at the God of Instant Gratification. This is what liberals do. We can do better.

kim roy on April 12, 2011 at 2:03 PM

He’s now a lobbyist for abortions.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Seriously?

karenhasfreedom on April 12, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Planned Parenthood is one of his clients now.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Abortions are PPs main business and why they are in business in the 1st place. That talk of a firewall between what they get from the govt between abortions and other needed services are a lot of cr@p. Susan Koman donations to PP flow into their coffers, too.

Kissmygrits on April 12, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Will Kathleen Turner be summoned to Congress before the vote?

Buy Danish on April 12, 2011 at 2:14 PM

But but but…I thought Boehner got rolled!

/

fossten on April 12, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Dingy Harry will just put up some worthless meaningless vote for the vulnerable red state dems can vote no on that they can use in their 2012 ads.

csdeven on April 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM

The Repubs need to make the link between PP & abortion funds. At this time, the public hears only that “abortions are a small part of the services provided by PP” & “we already have a law that doesn’t allow funds provided to PP to go to abortions” (the cardboard firewall).

mdenis39 on April 12, 2011 at 1:02 PM

That’s all PP does. Well, besides helping children become sexually active.

Abortion is their reason for existence. Just ask it’s founder: The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race
(Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

They will try to play up that it is all about “women’s health”. Balderdash! That’s what hospitals are for, not PP clinics.

Sterling Holobyte on April 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Thanks to last year’s ObamaCare vote, Democrats in the Senate are already on shaky ground, especially Ben Nelson and possibly Bob Casey as well, and others.

Then there’s Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who squeaked out a win by demagoguing embryonic stem-cell research in 2006 with a commercial full of faked Parkinson’s symptoms, who may be feeling the heat.

The next step in the battle to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business came when pro-life House Speaker John Boehner forced pro-abortion Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to do something he swore he wouldn’t do: allow a vote. The Senate will vote on Thursday.

Did the budget deal force Reid to allow an up-or-down vote (which could pass with 51 votes), or something that could be filibustered (which needs 60 votes)?

It would be really sweet if 4 or more Democrats defect, and Barry O has to veto this. There won’t be the votes to override, but let Barry try to defend this veto in purple states next year…

Steve Z on April 12, 2011 at 2:55 PM

We can expect more of the weird “Republicans are Nazi woman-killers” rhetoric to come out of this debate,

Half of the babies aborted before 1993 would now be women! How many millions of women has Planned Parenthood killed?

Steve Z on April 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

The Democrats will say that PP is about “women’s health care”. I almost think we should cede that point.

Because, you see, if it’s all about funding women’s health care, then that means that the Democrats are proclaiming Obamacare to be a complete failure… either that, or Planned Parenthood is just duplicate, wasteful spending.

malclave on April 12, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Sigh. This is an important vote because it makes people show their true colors but… we will continue to pay for murder with our tax dollars.

I really don’t get why the left feels okay forcing their values on us.

Pay for it yourselves, jerks. Leave me out of it.

petunia on April 12, 2011 at 3:14 PM

However, the ground has shifted on this debate in at least two important ways. First,

What happened to the second reason?

RedSoxNation on April 12, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Expect the Senate Insane Clown Posse crowd (Schumer, Slaughter, Boxer, et.all) to break out the well worn, time-honored “Republicans want to send women back to the back alleys!”

pilamaye on April 12, 2011 at 1:19 PM

No doubt, but ending PP’s tax subsidies wouldn’t stop any woman from going to a PP clinic to get an abortion for any reason she chose.

The woman could still have her abortion, she just wouldn’t be able to stick taxpayers with the bill for it.

AZCoyote on April 12, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I called Ben Nelson’ office. They said he would be hiding under his bed till after the vote was taken.

a capella on April 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Lolz. Maybe we should send Judas our leftover pizzas.

OmahaConservative on April 12, 2011 at 4:54 PM

But but but…I thought Boehner got rolled!

/

fossten

He did. lol@those who are claiming this “gets them on the record”. You know, cuz, like, the democrat party isn’t already on the record as being die hard supporters of abortion.

Boner gave Reid and the dems an out. Instead of forcing Reid to shut down the government over taxpayer funding of abortions that would generate all sorts of publicity, Boner let the dems express their continued support of Planned Parenthood in a vote that will receive little publicity, and that most of the public will never hear about.

xblade on April 12, 2011 at 5:37 PM

I love when people claim that the term is pro-choice and not pro-abortion. Yet, funny enough, the only choice they care about protecting is the abortion one. No one is concerned the govt is going to stop allowing women to HAVE babies, thus the only argument they’re putting up is a demand to keep the choice to abort, thus pro-abortion. It sounds icky to them, perhaps, so they pretend by changing the terminology.

TheBlueSite on April 12, 2011 at 5:44 PM

The Repubs need to make the link between PP & abortion funds. At this time, the public hears only that “abortions are a small part of the services provided by PP” & “we already have a law that doesn’t allow funds provided to PP to go to abortions” (the cardboard firewall).

mdenis39 on April 12, 2011 at 1:02 PM

what they need to do is start running massive ad campaigns on votes like these to better educate the public. Having them on record helps the individual GOP candidates in the red states, but making a national issue out of this would show how ideological Obama and the Dems are on this issue in general.

Daemonocracy on April 12, 2011 at 6:32 PM

The vote will force these red-state and purple-state Democrats to explain why, with a budget deficit of $1.6 trillion, the federal government should fund the abortion leader for any purpose, even if one can argue that the federal funds are somehow hermetically sealed away from the abortion process.

Those Democrats can easily point out that Planned Parenthood saves the nation much money. My question is how can one claim to be a fiscal conservative and vote to defund Planned Parenthood?

thuja on April 12, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Voters who want an end to the taxpayer gravy train for abortionists should make sure they contact their Senators in the next 48 hours to explain this

Boxer and Feinstein…Are you joking?

repvoter on April 12, 2011 at 8:38 PM