Conservatives are rightly concerned that the GOP decided to keep funding Planned Parenthood in the new omnibus spending package, which funds the government until September. With the majority in both houses of Congress, why could Republicans not finally strike tax dollars from the controversial pro-abortion organization?
The Family Research Council has provided an explanation. The omnibus bill, FRC notes, is not the best way to defund Planned Parenthood because it requires 60 votes, while a separate piece of legislation would only need 51 votes.
For those of you reading the media reports that the GOP didn't cut Planned Parenthood funding in the omnibus, there's a reason for that. A bill like this one requires 60 votes, whereas the budget reconciliation measure -- which is how Republicans are handling the repeal of Obamacare and the defunding of Planned Parenthood -- only needs 51. (And, as most people know by now, that same language already has a track record of success, passing Congress in 2015.) What's more, adding that provision as a rider on discretionary spending bills like this one wouldn't affect the mandatory spending programs, which also finance Planned Parenthood. Republicans are committed to severing ties with the group, but the omnibus isn't the tool to do it. Until then, we're keeping up the fight for a plan that recognizes: abortion isn't health care!
In a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan echoed the above reasoning, arguing the defunding of Planned Parenthood would be better served in their reconciliation bill.
“This bill does not have funding for Planned Parenthood,” Ryan said. “That’s the bill you don’t need to have Democrats with.”
While pro-lifers are eagerly awaiting the reconciliation measure, they should be encouraged by another aspect of the omnibus bill, according to FRC. The money that is usually saved for the UN Population Fund, which has a history of being complicit in China’s inhumane one-child policy, will be redirected to other entities.