Senate Democrats blocked a Republican bill Thursday that would keep the government from shutting down at month’s end but strip funding from Planned Parenthood.
The bill failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster, with eight Republicans crossing over to oppose the measure and one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voting with Republicans for a second time to end funding for Planned Parenthood. Many of the Senate Republicans who voted against Thursday’s spending bill say they don’t believe the fight over Planned Parenthood funding should threaten the operation of the government.
Immediately after the vote failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed another continuing resolution that does not include the Planned Parenthood language. The new measure is expected to eventually pass the Senate, potentially avoiding a government shutdown set to strike in just a week’s time. But its pathway through the House, where the conservative Freedom Caucus ardently opposes any government-funding bill that gives a pass to Planned Parenthood, is much less clear.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who opposed including Planned Parenthood funding in the CR to begin with, warned against the strategy on Tuesday when the vote was initially announced. “I don’t think the two issues should be linked,” Collins said Tuesday. “I think that we need a clean CR in order to make sure the government does not shut down, and that is my top priority.”