House GOP may opt against shutdown over Planned Parenthood

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

McConnell pitches stopgap spending bill, takes Planned Parenthood out of the mix.

WASHINGTON — With less than a week left to avert a government shutdown, Republican leaders are moving forward with plans to pass a stopgap spending bill next week by promising conservatives a chance to challenge President Barack Obama over Planned Parenthood through a separate piece of legislation. The University of Missouri Health Care system will discontinue a type of clinical privilege that allowed a Planned Parenthood doctor to perform medication abortions at a Columbia, Mo., clinic. “This is a continuation of the orchestrated attempt to restrict access to safe, legal abortion in Missouri and to the critical services Planned Parenthood has provided for nearly 100 years,” Laura McQuade, CEO of the Planned Parenthood affiliate for mid-Missouri and Kansas, said in a news release. Anti-abortion lawmakers in the House have threatened to withhold their support for any bill that provides funding for the embattled women’s health group. Under state statute, a doctor can perform or induce an abortion only if the doctor has clinical privileges at a hospital, which offers obstetrical or gynecological care located within 30 miles of the location where the abortion is being performed.

Planned Parenthood wouldn’t comment on whether the university’s decision meant the Columbia clinic will end abortions in December or if the organization could take other actions to keep the medical procedure available. The action of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., followed a decisive Senate vote blocking a bill that would have stripped Planned Parenthood of its taxpayer funding while keeping the government running through Dec. 11. Leaders also plan to vote on more anti-abortion measures in the weeks ahead, including a bill to allow states to exclude abortion providers from receiving Medicaid funds. And on Thursday, the White House issued a statement that Obama would veto it in any event, arguing that it “would limit access to health care for women, men, and families across the nation, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals.” The Senate’s vote, and the bipartisan measure that followed, cranks up the pressure on the GOP-controlled House. A separate investigation was launched when Planned Parenthood in Columbia said it was resuming abortion procedures. “I’m very pleasantly surprised that the university has decided to sever ties with an abortion doctor,” he said.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has only shaky control over his fractious caucus, and tea party Republicans are adamant about using the must-pass measure to carry provisions to defund Planned Parenthood, even at the risk of a partial government shutdown. Barack Obama – John Boehner – Diane Black – Mick Mulvaney – Mitch McConnell – Kelly Ayotte – Susan Collins – Dean Heller – Mark Kirk – Lisa Murkowski – Rand Paul – Ben Sasse – Joe Manchin – Ted Cruz – U.S. Conservative hard-liners including Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, were summoned to Boehner’s suite but would not comment on his plans. But a GOP leadership aide, requiring anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said GOP leaders were considering immediately crafting a separate filibuster-proof budget measure that would permit Republicans to deliver to Obama a measure to take away almost $500 million a year in taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, most of which goes to provide health services to the poor via the Medicaid program.

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