House Votes To Defund Planned Parenthood On Nearly Party Line Vote


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The U.S. House voted on Friday to strip away 500 million dollars in family planning funds for Planned Parenthood. The 241-187 vote fell almost on straight party lines with Republicans voting 239-3 for defunding, while Democrats voted 184-2 not to strip the organization from 500 million dollars used to provide health care and contraceptive services to mostly low-income women.

No federal funding is allocated for abortion services, even though Republican lawmakers often like to link the funding to the abortion debate.

The three Republicans who dissented from the party line were Robert Dold (IL-10), Richard Hanna (NY-22) and Charlie Dent (PA-15). Each of them represents a competitive swing district, where they could be defeated by a Democrat in 2016, if they are viewed as being right-wing extremists.

Two conservative Democrats voted for the defunding measure. Collin Peterson who represents Minnesota’s red-leaning 7th Congressional District, and Dan Lipinski (IL-3), voted with the majority of Republicans to strip funding from Planned Parenthood. Lipinski represents a reliably blue district in Chicago, but he has always had a pretty conservative voting record, which has often irked liberal Democrats in his district.

Despite passing the House, the vote was considered largely symbolic, as it is expected to fail in the Senate, where Democrats are likely to filibuster the bill. In the unlikely event that a Senate filibuster falls short, President Obama has also signaled his intent to veto the bill if it reaches his desk. Congress does not have the votes it would require in order to overturn a presidential veto.

House Republican leaders are hoping that Friday’s vote will placate hard line conservatives who have threatened to shut down the government. However, the vote may prove insufficient at appeasing the party’s radical nihilists who seem hell bent on shutting down the government.

The roll call, however, makes it clear that the issue divides Congress on partisan lines, with Republicans opposed to funding family planning and contraceptive services for low income women, while Democrats support that funding.

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