Planned Parenthood Defunding Amendment Passes House, Mostly Along Partisan Lines

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 18 2011 2:51 PM

Planned Parenthood Defunding Amendment Passes House, Mostly Along Partisan Lines

Two important things to note about the passage of Mike Pence's amendment to the continuing resolution -- the amendment that prohibits funding for Planned Parenthood's family planning activity.

- It was a mostly partisan vote. We don't have the official roll call yet, but the vote was 240-185. There are 241 Republican members of the House and 193 Democrats. So fewer than 10 Democrats voted for the amendment. That represents more than the shrunken size of the pro-life Democratic caucus. It signals that Planned Parenthood has not bled Democratic support since the new campaign against it began in mid-January, with Live Action's undercover sting videos. Compare that to the 2009 vote to defund ACORN, when a majority of the 255 Democrats -- 172 members -- fled from the ACORN scandal like Wisconsin legislators and voted to strip funding.

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- This doesn't auger well for the defunding amendment's survival in the Senate. There are 53 Democrats in the Senate. Only three of them voted with Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., when he tried to attach an abortion funding ban to the Affordable Care Act. Two of the Senate's Republicans, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, voted to table Nelson's amendment. At the moment there aren't enough votes to get a Planned Parenthood funding ban through the Senate.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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