Pence Breaks Senate Deadlock in Attack on Planned Parenthood

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"The Senate being equally divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative and the motion to proceed is agreed to".

Under the Constitution, the vice president casts tie breaking votes.

By 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Pence had cast a third.

Majority Democrats in the Maryland Legislature, with backing from some Republicans, passed a bill that would maintain family planning services provided by Planned Parenthood if the group ever lost federal funding.

Planned Parenthood decried the move. "We only need one more vote to stop this bill, which would allow states to dramatically reduce access for women to essential health care services".

Collins was even more blunt.

"I have watched the Congress of the United States on television for eight weeks trying to rehab from spinal surgery - I know more about it than I knew about it when I was here", Isakson joked. Beyond that existing law, Collins said, "I personally believe that it is not appropriate to put restrictions on the use of family planning money".

About a dozen states have attempted to eliminate Planned Parenthood's funding in the wake of the release of videos that alleged the abortion chain harvests the body parts of babies aborted in its clinics and sells them for profit. Some states have passed laws preventing abortion providers from receiving the funds. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones sent a letter Wednesday to the White House and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, urging the administration to enforce the law. According to Vox, Title X recipients are in a tough position because they don't qualify for Medicaid, yet don't make enough money to pay for contraception and other family planning resources. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

It's so bad that they're abandoning, at least temporarily, funding for Trump's border wall and efforts to deny Planned Parenthood any federal funding.

Pence delivered the tiebreaking vote to start debate on a resolution reversing an Obama administration action that prevented states from withholding family planning dollars from Planned Parenthood clinics.

"My option is always to be the team player, and I'm on the team, and I'll be doing what Mitch needs me to do", Isakson said. Maybe", she said. "Do we want to make sure we're prepared if something happens?

Conservatives have been champing at the bit to gut funding for Planned Parenthood now that Republicans control all the levers of power in Washington.

The bill shields Planned Parenthood with $2 million from the State's Medicaid budget, and another $700,000 from the general fund should Republicans in Congress succeed in cutting off federal funds. Plus, the Senate-currently split 52-48 with a Republican majority-voted against keeping birth control free earlier this year. The Obama administration's regulation was created to outlaw this practice.

Just days after suffering a humiliating defeat on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers must look ahead to April 28, when the Continuing Resolution under which the federal government is operating will expire, meaning that without a replacement in place, huge swathes of the federal government will have to shut down the following day.