House Passes CR, Battle on Planned Parenthood Funding Remains

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 15, 2011   |   3:55PM   |   Washington, DC

The House of Representatives passed the latest short-term continuing resolution bill today on a 271-158 vote margin. The Senate is expected to approve the bill and the battle over Planned Parenthood funding remains.

Some 54 Republicans voted against the measure because they wanted to see the Pence Amendment de-funding Planned Parenthood and the pro-life riders that stop abortion funding in various instances included in the measure. However, Senate Democrats have balked at those pro-life provisions and Republicans hoped to avoid being blamed for a government shutdown by insisting they be included in the short-term bill.

Instead, pro-life Speaker John Boehner says he’s fighting to include the pro-life provision in a long-term bill that would set up how the federal government is funded for most of the remainder of the year.

House Republicans were forced to release a new bill, which funds the government for three weeks because pro-abortion Senate Democrats defeated the long-term bill containing pro-life provisions all major national pro-life groups support. The long-term bill the House passed, HR 1, had reinstated the Mexico City Policy, stops abortion funding in the District of Columbia and de-funds the pro-abortion UNFPA, which works hand-in-hand with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions to enforce the one-child policy.

The latest short-term bill would fund the federal government mostly at current levels through April 8 and the idea is for House Republicans and Senate Democrats to come up with a long-term bill that both sides can agree to — or they may be forced to approve a third short-term continuing resolution to fund the government until they can reach an accord. During the coming weeks, pro-life groups — some of whom opposed the short-term bill because of the lack of the pro-life provisions — will call on members of Congress to include them in a long-term bill.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, one of the handful of pro-life groups to oppose the short-term bill, urged pro-life Americans to make their voices heard as the budgeting process unfolds.

“During a time of economic crisis in our country, a scandal-ridden abortion business like Planned Parenthood is the last place our hard-earned tax dollars should be going,” she said. “We need to send a clear message to Congress right now that defunding Planned Parenthood is non-negotiable. American taxpayers can no longer be complicit in the activities of an organization that partners in human trafficking and exploits women and young girls. If Congress isn’t serious about cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, how can it be serious about cutting spending anywhere else? With tens of millions of dollars in profit each year, Planned Parenthood does not need or deserve our taxpayer dollars.”

“We must stand together and urge Congress to see this as a non-negotiable issue,’ she concluded.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said GOP leaders are focused on passing another long-term bill, that pro-life groups hope will have the same amendments attached.

“Beyond this 3-week measure, House Republicans will continue to work on a long-term CR to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year,” he said. “Though there are visible divisions in the Democrat party, we hope that our friends on the other side of the aisle will work with the President and join us on a measure to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year that contains serious spending cuts and makes Washington begin to live within its means.”

On today’s vote, Republicans voting “no” were: Akin, Amash, Bachmann, Bartlett, Barton (TX), Benishek, Burton (IN), Campbell, Chabot, Chaffetz, Duncan (SC), Flake, Fleming, Franks (AZ), Garrett, Gingrey (GA), Gohmert, Gowdy, Graves (GA), Hall, Harris, Heller, Huelskamp, Huizenga (MI), Johnson (IL), Jones, Jordan, King (IA), Labrador, Lamborn, Landry, Long, Mack, McCotter, Mulvaney, Paul, Pearce, Pence, Pitts, Poe (TX), Rehberg, Rigell, Ross (FL), Schmidt, Smith (NJ), Southerland, Stearns, Stutzman, Sullivan, Tipton, Walberg, Walsh (IL), West, Wilson (SC).