WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has set up a showdown vote for Thursday on a bill financing government agencies through Dec. 11 but also blocking Planned Parenthood's federal funds for a year. The Kentucky Republican's move seems aimed at ultimately averting a partial federal shutdown on Oct. 1.
Senate Democrats have already blocked the GOP from cutting Planned Parenthood's money, and seem likely to derail McConnell's bill on Thursday. He would then be expected to schedule a later Senate vote financing the government without blocking Planned Parenthood's funds.
Planned Parenthood is under attack from conservatives for its procurement of fetal tissue for scientific research. Conservatives' insistence on cutting the organization's money has left House GOP leaders so far unable to figure out how to pass legislation averting a shutdown.