Sens. Murkowski & Collins joined Democrats on the no vote.
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking procedural vote to stop federal funding for abortions. The bill will now head to President Donald Trump’s desk. From The Hill:
Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) joined all Democrats in voting against ending debate on the bill.
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who has been recovering from two back surgeries and hasn’t voted since Feb. 17, returned to the Senate to cast a vote, creating the tie that led to Pence’s vote.
Leadership held the vote open for roughly an hour as they rounded up enough votes to move forward. A final vote on getting rid of the Obama-era rule could happen as early as Thursday afternoon.
Republicans are using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to roll back some Obama-era regulations with only a simple majority vote.
Former President Obama’s rule required that state and local governments distribute federal Title X funding for services related to contraception, fertility, pregnancy care and cervical cancer screenings to health providers, regardless of whether they also preform abortions.
Democrats blasted Republicans for using Pence to break a tie on a procedural vote.
As Republicans waited for Isakson to arrive, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office sent a note to reporters with the subject line: “What’s going on with this Senate vote? The VP needs to break the tie & harm women’s health.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) criticized Pence’s tiebreaking vote, tweeting: “Just in case we didn’t already have enough men making decisions on women’s health.”
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)—who sat on the Senate floor and waited for Pence to arrive—pledged that Democrats would spend Thursday afternoon speaking out against the GOP-effort.
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