Reid: GOP 'hijacked' female vets bill
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidVirginia was a wave election, but without real change, the tide will turn again Top Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor MORE (D-Nev.) slammed Republicans Thursday, suggesting that they "hijacked" a bill aimed at increasing access to fertility services at the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
 
"I was disappointed yesterday to see my Republican colleagues try and manipulate a good veterans bill — a noble bill — for political purposes," the Democratic leader said, adding that Republicans "put Fox News ahead of the welfare of American veterans."
 
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Reid's remarks come after Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayGOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal Murkowski: ObamaCare fix not a precondition for tax vote MORE (D-Wash.) asked that her legislation be pulled from the agenda of Wednesday's Veterans Affairs Committee hearing, where it had been expected to receive a vote.
 
Murray's legislation would expand the VA's fertility services and lift a ban on veterans' access to in vitro fertilization. 
 
The Washington Democrat said that Republicans on the committee wanted to attach "poison pill" amendments to the bill, adding that they decided "to leap at the opportunity to pander to their base."
 
Reid praised Murray's decision to stop the legislation from being voted on, saying that she "didn't want a good, bipartisan bill hijacked by a few Republicans looking to get their names on Fox News."
 
But Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who lead the Republican push to change Murray's bill, quickly fired back, saying his amendments weren't "political attacks."
 
Three amendments he said were focused on improving government efficiency, while another would prevent the VA from working with organizations "that take human aborted babies' organs and sell them."
 
But the move could have put Murray's bill on a collision course with a separate fight over Planned Parenthood. 
 
Republicans are currently up in arms over two videos that show Planned Parenthood officials talking about the preservation of fetal tissue and the cost of saving and using the tissue. 
 
The Department of Justice said Wednesday that it would review the two videos and information surrounding the videos and decide what, if any, steps to take. 
 
Meanwhile, 50 senators — including Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  Overnight Finance: House passes sweeping tax bill in huge victory for GOP | Senate confirms banking regulator | Mulvaney eyed for interim head of consumer agency Overnight Regulation: Senators unveil bipartisan gun background check bill | FCC rolls back media regs | Family leave credit added to tax bill | Senate confirms banking watchdog MORE (D-W.Va.) — sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mathews BurwellPrice was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue Overnight Healthcare: GOP chairman to introduce pre-existing condition bill ObamaCare enrollment hits 11.5M for 2017 MORE that called on her department to "fully cooperate" with the congressional investigations.