Senate Will Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood

A working group is putting together a bill that will be voted on before August recess.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 05: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (3rd L) speaks to the news media after the weekly Senate Republican Caucus policy luncheon with (L-R) Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) at the U.S. Capitol November 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Senate overcame a procedural hurdle Monday to move closer to passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, which would outlaw workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (National Journal)

The Senate will vote before the August recess to defund Planned Parenthood, leadership confirmed Tuesday, a response to several weeks of controversy over videos showing officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

"There's a working group headed by Sen. [Joni] Ernst to come up with the right bill," Majority Whip John Cornyn said. "Sen. [Rand] Paul's part of that, but as you know, there's a number of ideas. But we will have that vote before we leave."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the working group would meet in his office later Tuesday to craft a measure. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota conceded that "probably not a lot" of Democrats would join Republicans in advancing the measure, but said the leaders wanted to see "what the traffic will bear" in the hopes of getting on a bill.

"It's hard to say at this point, but I suspect for sure it'll be the procedural vote," Thune said. "The question is are there going to be any Democrats who might be available on that. It's hard to handicap that at this point, but my guess is probably not a lot."

Minority Leader Harry Reid wholeheartedly agrees. "Good luck to them," he told reporters Tuesday.

Alex Rogers contributed to this article