Mike Pence has had a lot on his plate as Vice President- even more so than Vice Presidents before him did. On Thursday, Pence cast his vote to sort on a tie vote on a Senate-proposed bill. The bill submitted to the President was giving states a ‘go ahead’ to cut federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion organizations.
The Democrats were, naturally, dissatisfied with this outcome and were against such bill. Of course, there were a few Republicans who stood on the Democrats’ side, including Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Currently the GOP has a 52-48 majority in the Senate.
“We’re talking about federal family planning funds and I don’t think that those funds should be subjected to state restrictions,” Collins told POLITICO.
“It’s important to recognize that there is already a bar against using federal funds for abortion and that bar stays in effect. That’s a prohibition that I personally support, but I’m a strong supporter of family planning funds.”
Murkowski’s spokesperson noted the vote is “consistent with the senator’s long-held belief that men and women should have access to the family planning and reproductive health services they need, including cancer tests and health screenings.”
According to Sen. Patty Murray, this was highly “cruel, and it would have [the] greatest impact on women and families who need it the most.It would undo a valuable effort by the Obama administration to ensure that health care providers are evaluated for federal funding based on their ability to provide the services in question, not on ideology,” she added.
Mike Pence was surprisingly asked to break a tie on two occasions- during the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Education secretary and now.
The vote happened in accordance with the Congressional Review Act.
A total of thirteen states governed by Republicans have supported this bill and ceased federal funds on Planned Parenthood.
“This is an opportunity to return to the people the right to prioritize how taxpayer dollars are spent,” said Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List.
Collins and Murkowski are “missing out on the opportunity to stand up for comprehensive women’s health care.”
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