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Harry Reid: We won't budge on Planned Parenthood


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in an exclusive interview Friday that Democrats "are not budging" when it comes to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide women's health services.

"I have nine granddaughters and I want them to have the peace of mind that if something later goes on I can't help them with, that they can go get a cancer screening, have some information that they can't get at home and we're not going to violate that," he told CBS News' Nancy Cordes.

Reid suggested on the Senate floor Friday that the only issue holding up a budget deal is GOP efforts to cut off Title X funding for Planned Parenthood and similar groups. Republicans dispute that claim, suggesting the impasse is about spending cuts. Without a deal, the government will shut down at midnight.

Cordes asked Reid what he has to say to the hundreds of thousands of federal workers waiting to find out if they will be able to come to work and get paid next week.

"I'm saying to them what all newspapers and pundits are saying around the country, how could they close up the government on an issue dealing with women's health," Reid responded. When Cordes noted Republicans said the issue was really spending cuts, the Nevada Democrat said, "well anyone at that meeting last night at the White House -- and that's not many people -- they know the number that was given to us by the Speaker was agreed upon the only thing left standing was Planned Parenthood."

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid addresses the budget impasse on the Senate floor, April 8, 2011. CBS

Reid added that "everything dealing with numbers was agreed on last night," including defense spending, and suggested Republicans are boxed into a corner by the demands of social conservatives.

Republicans are "trying to wiggle out of the fact that they're shutting down the government on this ideological stand they've taken to throw women under the bus and we're not going to go there," he said.

Asked if there was a chance for a deal before midnight, he said it was up to the GOP.

"Well I'm hopeful we can, but it's not up to me," he said. "We've agreed, we've agreed. It's up to them to drop this very, very mean-spirited attack on women."