The Senate on Thursday rejected a short-term spending bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, thwarting the opening move by Republican leaders to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.
Senators voted 47-52 on ending debate on the short-term continuing resolution, well short of the 60 votes needed. The legislation would have funded the government through Dec. 11.
The vote divided Republicans, with eight of them breaking ranks. Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP dealt 2022 blow, stares down Trump-era troubles Sununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority MORE (N.H.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo MORE (Maine), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonConservatives target Biden pick for New York district court GOP anger with Fauci rises Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (Ark.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerNevada becomes early Senate battleground Nevada governor Sisolak injured in car accident, released from hospital Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada MORE (Nev.) Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (Ill.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCongress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (Alaska), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP anger with Fauci rises Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (Ky.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) all voted against moving forward.
Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Powell, Yellen face pressure on inflation Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems seek to preserve climate provisions Democrats wrangle to keep climate priorities in spending bill MORE (W.Va.) was the only Democrat to vote in favor.
After the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Memo: Trump's justices look set to restrict abortion Conservatives could force shutdown over Biden vaccine mandate Freedom Caucus urges McConnell to block government funding over vaccine mandates MORE (R-Ky.) filed a new short-term spending bill that would fund the government and Planned Parenthood.
"I regret the Democratic leadership determined a crisis would be necessary to advance a policy aim of growing the government and that our colleagues decided accordingly to block every single funding bill," McConnell said. "We've been forced to pursue a continuing resolution as a result."
The majority leader could file cloture on the new funding bill in the afternoon. That could set the stage for a final vote early next week.
One senator who could drag out the process is Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzProposal to move defense bill running into new GOP objections GOP anger with Fauci rises Senate nearing deal on defense bill after setback MORE.
The Texas Republican, who is running for president, has slammed Republican leadership during the funding fight, telling reporters that they “will support 100 percent of the priorities of Democrats.”
Cruz could try to force weekend work by objecting to a request to adjourn on Friday, but he could be rebuffed by a majority vote.
The presidential hopeful has reasons of his own to avoid weekend work, as he is currently scheduled to campaign in Iowa on Saturday.
Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears MORE (R-Utah), questioned as to whether the Senate would work this weekend, said "no." Asked if he was sure, he replied, "yeah, I'm pretty sure."
The White House, meanwhile, reiterated its pledge to veto any spending bill that reaches President Obama's desk without funding for Planned Parenthood.
“By eliminating Federal funding for a major provider of health care, the Senate amendment to H.J.Res. 61 would limit access to health care for women, men, and families across the Nation, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.
Senate Democrats, and even some Republicans, slammed Thursday’s vote, suggesting it was a waste of time with less than a week left before government funding expires and federal workers are furloughed — something that last happened in 2013.
Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBottom line Voters need to feel the benefit, not just hear the message Schumer-McConnell dial down the debt ceiling drama MORE (D-Nev.) said Thursday’s vote was the latest in a line of Republican “publicity stunts.”
“Instead of voting today on a bipartisan way forward, we’ll have another failed vote,” he said. “Republicans should abandon their commitment to fruitless votes and pass a clean funding bill.”
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said Thursday's vote "should send the message loud and clear to the House of Representatives that Americans overwhelmingly support the care that Planned Parenthood provides."
The new funding bill is expected to have the votes to pass the Senate, though Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is also running for president, have pledged to vote against it.
But it remains to be seen whether the spending bill can pass the House.
Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power MORE (R-Ohio) is under intense pressure from conservative lawmakers to stand firm on defunding Planned Parenthood.
More than 30 House conservatives have pledged to vote against any funding bill that includes Planned Parenthood, spurred by a series of controversial undercover videos dealing with the organization’s handling of fetal tissue.
With chatter of a potential coup against the Speaker growing, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power MORE is treading carefully.
He has yet to say whether he will schedule a vote on a bill that does not defund Planned Parenthood, though a decision could be announced when House Republicans gather Friday morning for a conference meeting.
Boehner would likely need Democratic votes to pass such a bill, given the expected defections on the Republican side.
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCongress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Mental health: The power of connecting requires the power of investing Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (R-Texas) predicted that the Senate would “quickly” send something to the House, where lawmakers will “have to figure out what they can do.”
"The House has got their own process right now, and I think they're kind of waiting to see what we do," added Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHouse passes bipartisan bills to strengthen network security, cyber literacy Senate nearing deal on defense bill after setback Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default MORE (R-S.D.).
This story was updated at 3:46 p.m.