Is two a charm? House plans another vote to defund Planned Parenthood

Is two a charm? House plans another vote to defund Planned Parenthood

GOP House leadership is planning to hold a vote on a Planned Parenthood funding freeze at some point this fall.

“We’re encouraged to know there will be a vote this fall, whether it’s our bill or something that is similar,” a spokesman for Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) told the Hill on Friday. However, while Rep. Black wants to defund Planned Parenthood, she said she won’t shut the government down to do so. “I’m not in the shutdown government camp. That is not the way to get to the bottom of this issue, by shutting down the government,” Black told Politico last week. “Those who believe [a shutdown] helps us defund Planned Parenthood misunderstand what the precedent is, and misunderstand what happens.”

As is his wont, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has avoided any definitive comment on Planned Parenthood, though it is believed that he would also like to defund PP. However, Boehner also seems to be hedging his bets and waiting to hear how likely a defund vote is to pass before forcing one to the House Floor.

The man who replaced Boehner as majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), hasn’t been nearly as docile as Boehner on the issue, though. McCarthy has been vocal about his desire to see a vote to defund sooner than later; he’d also like to see more legislation to keep similar crimes from happening again.

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Rep. Black recently told Sarah Palin that while she didn’t know when the vote would happen adding, “Kevin McCarthy has told me that yes, he will bring up the legislation, but the sooner the better.” McCarthy said as much earlier this summer after watching the 2nd undercover Planned Parenthood video. “Regardless of where anybody stands on the issue, knowing the doubt of what’s going on here, is this a place where tax dollars should be spent? At the very least, there should be a moratorium until this investigation is done,” McCarthy told reporters.

Black, McCarthy, and Boehner are all important members of the GOP House leadership and beholden to the establishment. If they can be taken at their word (and that is a big “if” indeed), then we should be optimistic that the House will hold a vote to defund Planned Parenthood some time in the next few months. Such a vote could be an important first step, if perhaps a purely symbolic one, to mending fences between the establishment and the conservatives within the GOP in the run-up to the 2016 election. But will it happen?

Cross-posted at Eagle Rising


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