The Senate bill sponsored by Senator Joni Ernst failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate and defund Planned Parenthood. The final tally was 53-46, a majority but not enough.
According to The Blaze, Senators Kirk and McConnell were the only Republicans to vote nay, (McConnell did so, in order to reserve the opportunity for a re-vote).
Presidential Candidate and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham missed the vote. Democratic Senators Donnelly, Kirk and Manchin crossed the line to support the bill.
Knowing he did not have enough votes to pass the bill, McConnell voted no, because according to Senate rules he may call for a re-vote only if he is on the prevailing side (the “nays”).
Said Ernst, “The American taxpayer should not be asked to fund an organization like Planned Parenthood that has shown a sheer disdain for human dignity and complete disregard for women and their babies.”
But the fight is not over. After the summer recess, Congress must vote to keep the government operating after October 1 when the budget expires. Ted Cruz already helped shut down the government for 16 days last year and is threatening to do it again. Candidate Donald Trump is lending his support and urging him on.
Other presidential candidates have made their mark as well. Governor Scott Walker defunded Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin long ago. Governor Bobby Jindal just announced the end of Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood in Louisiana. Governor Chris Christie stopped doing business with Planned Parenthood in New Jersey over 6 years ago.
Author’s note: This is destined to become a much bigger and more divisive issue over the next two months. The presidential candidates cannot afford to appear weak, and this will give Cruz, Paul and Rubio major cajones to continue to fight this. And with Trump egging them on and essentially providing “cover fire,” it is very likely Planned Parenthood will eventually lose their funding. On the other hand, Hillary will be forced to step in and take sides and is no slouch. It will go badly for her if Planned Parenthood loses.
Not sure why Lindsey Graham missed the vote, seems like a lack of backbone to me…