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 Levy BoxerThe ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE (D-Calif.), includes thirty-nine Democratic senators and two Independents, Sens. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCongress to require FEC report on foreign money in elections DCCC adds first black candidates to list of top candidates Hillary Clinton’s sorry apology is why she’s no champion for women MORE (Vt.).

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 Mason ReidGOP pushes to change Senate rules for Trump Trump presses GOP to change Senate rules Only thing Defense’s UFO probe proves is power of political favors MORE (D-Nev.) and GOP leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump GOP senator threatened to hold up bill over provision to honor late political rival: report Paul: Shutting down government not my goal 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 MurkowskiProposed budget for Indian Health Services won't treat Native American patients equally Keep anti-environment riders for Alaska out of spending bill Industry should comply with the Methane Waste Prevention Rule MORE (R-Alaska) wrote a letter to Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and ranking member Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranSenate bracing for possible long weekend All eyes on Paul with shutdown looming Cochran delivers farewell Senate address MORE (R-Miss.) stating their belief that “Planned Parenthood provides vital services to those in need.”
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: House passes .3T omnibus | Bill boosts funds for NIH, opioid treatment | Senators spar over ObamaCare fix | 'Right to Try' bill heads to the Senate Winners and losers from the .3T omnibus Senators introduced revised version of election cyber bill 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.