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Commentary

Here Are the Republican Senators Who Just Voted Against Defunding Planned Parenthood

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So, for what feels like roughly the 86,322nd time since the GOP has had control of at least one house of Congress, they’ve decided that defunding Planned Parenthood simply wasn’t that important.

This time it was the Senate that decided spending your tax dollars on an abortion provider — who swears they use that money solely on “women’s health services,” is able to effectively sequester this part of the pond of money available to the group from being used to murder the unborn and that they are the only effective provider of these “women’s health services” in America — wasn’t all that bad, even though they repeatedly swear during each campaign cycle that they’ll defund our country’s largest baby-killing mill.

“The Senate rejected an effort by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to attach a provision blocking federal funding for Planned Parenthood to a massive government spending bill,” The Hill reported after the Thursday vote.

The provision received 48 votes against and 45 for, well fewer than the 60 needed to attach it to the funding bill. Perhaps most sickening, however, was how Senate leadership treated the amendment.

“The vote came after Paul was initially blocked from bringing up his amendment. Leadership has agreed to block ‘poison pill’ provisions, which would threaten the bipartisan support for the Defense-Education-Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bill,” The Hill reported.

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“Leadership,” of course, includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas — both of whom voted for the bill, all of which I’m sure had nothing to do with being able to tell voters they voted for defunding Planned Parenthood.

The two Republicans who voted with Democrats in blocking the bill probably won’t come as a surprise to you — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, RINOs so massive one might otherwise expect to see them in an enclosure in the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Some of those Republicans who declined to vote at all, however, will likely surprise you.

First there are those who won’t. Sen. John McCain of Arizona clearly has more important things to take care of at this juncture of his life than being present in the upper chamber for votes and his absence on this issue is more than excusable.

Do you think Planned Parenthood should be defunded?

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, meanwhile, is quitting in January and is in some sort of demented quest to punish the Republican Party since he’s not running for re-election in 2018 because he doth not like President Trump. Back when he was more concerned with re-election, Corker co-sponsored a 2015 bill that would have defunded the abortion organization.

“Like so many Tennesseans, I am deeply disturbed not only by the alarming content of the video footage (from the Center for Medical Progress) showing Planned Parenthood’s role in harvesting the organs of unborn babies, but also the organization’s casual disregard for human life,” said Corker. “I am a cosponsor of this legislation and hope the Senate will act swiftly to defund the organization and ensure no taxpayer dollars are being used in this manner.”

Others might surprise you. Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska isn’t exactly known as a pro-choice Republican. “I am proud to be pro-life and have a 100% pro-life voting record in my 8 years in the Nebraska Legislature. I will continue to support a culture of life by supporting pro-life policies in U.S. Senate,” Fischer said in her 2012 campaign, according to OnTheIssues.org.

And then there’s Sen. Ted Cruz. Say what you will about him, and I’m sure Donald Trump does, Cruz isn’t exactly known for taking liberal positions on these sorts of things.

So, why these non-votes? Well, according to The Hill, “Republicans argued that it was Democrats initially blocking Paul from getting a vote because GOP leadership wouldn’t give Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a vote on a separate amendment.”

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Well, these things happen — and it was clearly a measure from Senate leadership to make the amendment as unpalatable as possible for certain members. That doesn’t mean that the lives ended by funding provided to an abortion mill for “women’s health” purposes are any less ended because of a procedural vote.

Furthermore, if they had voted for the amendment, it would have either forced Sens. McConnell and Cornyn to either reveal their pusillanimity or forced Democrat senators in deep-red states up for re-election this year — the aforementioned Manchin, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana to either vote for it or take a position that would have been deeply unpopular with their constituents when the amendment had a chance of passing.

That also would have meant Collins and Murkowski would have had to have rethought their vote or similar votes in the future. Add in other Democrats in states where abortion is deeply unpopular but aren’t up for election this year — Doug Jones of Alabama comes immediately to mind — and you would get close enough to that 60-vote threshold to make a difference.

At the very least, you could have at least have forced these individuals to have lived up to their promise to defund Planned Parenthood, a promise they’ve made since time immemorial, and which few aside from Rand Paul seemed interested in chastising his own party for breaking

“I will never apologize for standing up for life,” Paul said in a statement after the vote. “If it took exposing the preference of so many in my own party to continue reckless spending over protecting the innocent, it was a fight worth having.”

He’s right. Voters should demand these senators answer for their actions.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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