Sen. Ted Cruz and a group of conservative House Republicans were defeated in their bid to link defunding Planned Parenthood to funding the government as the Senate voted 78-20 to pass a clean Continuing Resolution.
The Senate bill was supported by all Democratic Senators while the Republicans split 32-20 in favor of the resolution. Two Republican Senators (Rubio and Graham) did not show up for the vote.
The House is expected to pass the bill later today, which means that the government will be funded and stay open through December 11. According to The Hill, House conservatives may try to pull one last move to defund Planned Parenthood, “A group of House conservatives plan to follow Cruz and offer an amendment defunding Planned Parenthood to the stopgap when it reaches the Rules Committee later Wednesday.”
The effort is expected to fail as there is bipartisan support for clean funding bill in the House. In reality, the Republican-run Congress has remained true to their previous form. They haven’t averted the crisis. They merely postponed to the holiday season.
President Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have bought themselves a little bit of time to negotiate longer budget, but McConnell’s insistence on cutting Congressional Democrats out of the process may sink the negotiations before they ever get started.
The extremist wing of the Republican Congressional caucus has once again promised something to their supporters that they could never deliver. Planned Parenthood is not going to be defunded. It was never going to be defunded in September, and it won’t be defunded in December.
Today’s votes are a major victory for Democrats because Republicans demonstrated that defunding Planned Parenthood isn’t a big priority for them. It is clear that Republicans are trying to use Planned Parenthood to campaign for votes with their base.
Republicans raise their voices and stomp their feet, but at the end of the day, President Obama and the Democrats have won. Planned Parenthood is funded. The government is open. The CR is clean, and Republicans have gained nothing.