Senate prepares to vote to defund Planned Parenthood
With only a few days left before the end of the fiscal year and the possibility of a federal shutdown in sight, the Senate is planning to vote on a spending bill that will include a measure defunding Planned Parenthood.
Despite overwhelming Democratic opposition, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the Republican party's majority whip, laid out a plan to vote on a continuing resolution -- which would temporarily fund the government until a long-term deal is reached -- and that also cuts federal money to the women's health organization.
"I think there will be a vote on that. I just don't think Democrats will let that pass," Cornyn told Politico Thursday. "We will vote on defunding (Planned Parenthood) on the (continuing resolution) in some form or another."
But senate Republicans aren't banking on that bill's passage. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted Wednesday that "the cold hard reality for those who don't support Planned Parenthood is that we need a president who has a similar view and would sign our bill."
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When that continuing resolution fails, according to a Politico report, the GOP plans to push for a last-minute spending bill that still includes federal money for Planned Parenthood in order to avert a government shutdown.
Democrats would likely push through this 11th-hour bill. In a Thursday meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, President Obama agreed that "in the interest of avoiding a government shutdown," they would support a "clean" temporary spending bill.
The upper chamber has not decided when the vote will take place.
The Senate has already voted once before to defund the women's health organization. The bill, which would have redirected federal money from Planned Parenthood to other community health organizations, failed in August with only 53 votes -- seven short of the 60 votes needed to pass it over the Democrats' filibuster.
Senate Republicans are also planning to vote Tuesday to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill is not expected to win the 60 votes needed to move forward.
The House voted to block Planned Parenthood funding on Friday, though the measure faces a veto from the president if it passes through the Senate.
CBS News' Walt Cronkite contributed to this report.
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