By a mostly party-line vote, Senate Democrats powered by the liberal caucus rose up and blocked a Republican bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
Democrats had no trouble getting to the minimum of 41 votes that they needed to block the bill. The final vote was 53-46, with Republicans having no chance of getting to 60 votes.
Before the vote, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) said, “Recently, anti-abortion activists secretly recorded videos of Planned Parenthood doctors and staff. In these videos, some of the physicians captured on tape did not treat the issue of reproductive health services with the appropriate level of sensitivity, and I was glad to see that the president of Planned Parenthood apologized for the tone of those remarks. But these videos–deceptively edited to paint a misleading picture of the organization–were designed to distort the truth and create controversy. A controversy that opponents of reproductive rights are now exploiting by pushing the same failed strategy. Only this time, they have cloaked their opposition to reproductive rights in disingenuous rhetoric that purports to value women’s health.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) slammed Republicans on the Senate floor, “Do you have any idea what year it is?” Warren asked. “Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950’s or the 1890’s? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s health care centers. You know, on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised. The Republicans have had a plan for years to strip away women’s rights to make choices over our own bodies. Just look at the recent facts.”
Video of Warren’s speech on the Senate floor:
The Senate’s liberals were never going to allow a bill to defund Planned Parenthood to come anywhere close to passing. The vote was a publicity stunt by Mitch McConnell that didn’t work. In the end, the real power in the Senate was once again demonstrated to be with the liberals.
Mitch McConnell can schedule all of the empty show votes on repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood that he wants, but the real power to get anything done rests with a group of liberals on the Democratic side of the aisle.
The liberals said no, and there isn’t a thing that Mitch McConnell can do about it.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association