41 senators vow to oppose Planned Parenthood rider

Forty-one senators have pledged to filibuster any bipartisan spending bill that includes an amendment to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood, threatening an impasse with House conservatives.
 
The group, led by Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTrump riles Dems with pick for powerful EPA job Pelosi's chief of staff stepping down Time is now to address infrastructure needs MORE (D-Calif.), includes thirty-nine Democratic senators and two Independents, Sens. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE (Vt.).
 

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It’s just large enough to sustain a filibuster to block any spending bill that cuts Planned Parenthood funding from passing the upper chamber.

Congress is trying to reach an agreement on a spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. The current continuing resolution keeping the government operational runs through April 8.
 
The group outlined their opposition in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) and GOP leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (Ky.), asking Reid and McConnell to “stand with us against extreme proposals by some members of the House to eliminate support for women’s health and family planning programs and providers that service millions of women and families.”
 
H.R. 1, the package of spending cuts the House passed in February, would eliminate the Title X family planning program.
 
The lawmakers also said they would “oppose the provision in the House-passed continuing resolution that cuts Planned Parenthood health centers off from federal funds used to provide cancer screenings, birth control and other preventative health care services to three million Americans every year.”
 
“Without access to these services, many of these women will be unable to get preventive screenings, be at far greater risk for diseases such as cancer and will face more unintended pregnancies,” they wrote.
 
Several Republican senators have already voiced opposition to the House cuts.
 
Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRepublicans jockey for position on immigration GOP senator knocks Trump: 'Not a fan of governing by tweet' How the effort to replace ObamaCare failed MORE (R-Alaska) wrote a letter to Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and ranking member Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranWhite House requests B for disaster relief GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers Whatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong MORE (R-Miss.) stating their belief that “Planned Parenthood provides vital services to those in need.”
 
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGun proposal picks up GOP support Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns Agricultural trade demands investment in MAP and FMD MORE (R-Maine) has also said she would oppose elimination of Title X funding.

Republicans are facing major pressure from conservative activists to keep the cuts intact. The anti-abortion-rights group Susan B. Anthony List released statements Monday from five potential Republican presidential candidates voicing their support for the amendment, proposed by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.).
 
Reid has already declared the Planned Parenthood rider would not be part of a final deal with the House on 2011 spending levels.

—Jordan Fabian contributed.

Correction: Sen. Thad Cochran did not sign the Murkowski letter on Planned Parenthood. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version of this story.