Senate GOP starts fast-track on bill to block Planned Parenthood funding

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Senate Republicans on Monday night started the Senate's fast-track process on legislation that would block federal funding for Planned Parenthood. 

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) began the process, known as Rule 14, that will allow the legislation to skip over the Senate's committee process and go straight to the Senate floor where it can be brought up for a vote. The Senate will likely complete the process on Tuesday.
 
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The legislation, which passed the House last week by a 241-187 vote, would place a one-year freeze on federal funding for the organization, giving lawmakers more time to investigate claims of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood that were made in a string of controversial, secretly recorded videos.
 
Senate Republicans also started the fast-track process on a House-passed bill that would tighten restrictions on abortion doctors who violate infant protections.
 
The proposals come as Republican leadership is under pressure to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline to pass a government spending bill.
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellCongress fails on promises to restore regular order and stop funding by crisis Overnight Healthcare: Dems dig in over Zika funding Business groups ramp up pressure to fill Ex-Im board MORE (R-Ky.) has pledged to not let the government shutdown and called his party's push to defund Planned Parenthood as part of a spending bill an "exercise in futility." 
 
But Congress's path to keeping the government open remains unclear with only a handful of days left before the deadline. 
 
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's 12:30 Report House to vote on NRA-backed gun measure Attorney general says she will defer to FBI on Clinton emails MORE (R-Texas), the Senate's No. 2 Republican, told reporters that the Senate could take the lead on a funding bill but added that "I don't think it's been finally decided." 

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