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Senate blocks spending bill defunding Planned Parenthood

The Senate blocked a spending bill which includes Republican language to defund Planned Parenthood on Thursday afternoon, 47 yeas to 52 nays.

Eight Republicans voted with Democrats to block the funding bill, including Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Susan Collins of Maine, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

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One Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted with the Republicans to move forward on the spending bill. Sixty votes were needed for the bill to advance.

The Senate is expected to take a vote next week on a so-called "clean" funding bill that does not include language to defund Planned Parenthood. If it passes the Senate, it would need to be passed by the House before going to the White House for President Obama's signature.

It's no sure bet that both houses will pass the bill, however, with many GOP conservatives opposed to any bill that continues funding Planned Parenthood. The House voted to deny federal funding for the group for a year last Friday.

The women's health care provider has recently come under scrutiny following the release of spy camera videos that show people affiliated with the group discussing abortion.

Democrats and the White House have said they will not support any bill that rescinds funding for Planned Parenthood. Current funding for the federal government runs out on October 1, and lawmakers will need to resolve their differences and pass a funding bill before then to avert a government shutdown.

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